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General Writing and Grammar Help/Brandi loves her boyfriend.....

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Question
Dear Ted:

If the following two sentences are both possible and correctly punctuated, what do they imply?

1) Brandi loves her boyfriend John, but she's always had a thing for his brother Bill.

2) Brandi loves her boyfriend, John, but she's always had a thing for his brother, Bill.

Thank you,

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

This is my last answer for today.  It's unbelievable, but I have answered 30 questions in the last two days!  My eyes are red.

[They are Happy Valentines Red.]

************

If the following two sentences are both possible and correctly punctuated, what do they imply?

1) Brandi loves her boyfriend John, but she's always had a thing for his brother Bill.

2) Brandi loves her boyfriend, John, but she's always had a thing for his brother, Bill.

*** They are possible, but their meanings are very different.

#1 = Brandi has more than one boyfriend.  John has more than one brother.  Brandi would really like to get together with Bill.

#2 = Brandi has one boyfriend and his name is "John."  "John" has one brother whose name is "Bill."  Brandi would rather have Bill than John.

[Brandi drops John.  Brandi has lurid sex with Bill.  John discovers their sexual escapades and kills Bill.  In a fit of rage, Brandi then kills John.  She then runs away with Steve, the father of John and Bill.  [After all, she liked older men.]

End of story.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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