Here's an e-mail I sent to my physics 419 TA upon receiving a graded paper. He or she doesn't seem qualified to be grading papers written in english. I dunno, I'm just really pissed off at the moment so I feel like posting this to my blog.
Oh, here are the 6 grading deductions I think are bullshit.
 comma (g: -0.5)
 "de Brahe's"; why do you put a space between an apostrophe and the "s" following it? (g: -1)
 it was a made-up concept rather than a mathematical one! (c: -1)
 the same exact argument was used before: "The Newtonian model of the universe is derived from Isaac Newton's laws of motion" (c: -1)
 remove the semicolon; use a comma (g: -1)
 the subject of the modifier "when examining a theory's validity" modifies the wrong
subject, i.e. "testable predictions" (dangling modifiers - section 23D) (g: -1)
change it to something like this: "...which are important when one examines a theory's validity"
Here's my e-mail\
I have a few concerns regarding the grading of assignment two. The numbering of my conerns coincides with the grading comments.
The prepositional phrase is short and there is no danger of misreading the sentence without the comma.
Apparently turnitin.com doesn't handle pdf files very well. I attached my original document showing no spaces, so hopefully I can get this point back. From now on I will submit my homework in a different format.
The word epicycle is used in mathematics. It is "a circle whose circumference rolls along the circumference of a fixed circle, thereby generating an epicycloid or a hypocycloid." It is a geometric model which explains the apparent motions of the planets.
quotation taken from www.dictionary.com
I first introduced the Newtonian model, and then later contrasted it with Brahe's model. I used the same argument again to place importance on Newton's laws. I'm not sure why this warrants a deduction.
I'm not sure why a comma would be used in this situation. Neither of the phrases are subordinate, and there is no coordinating conjunction joining the phrases. Perhaps if I wrote "data, but it also explains the data" a comma would be necessary.
The subject of the first clause is "testable predictions" and the verb is "comes." The modifier modifies the subject of the first clause. I'm not sure why this is considered a dangling modifier. However, the verb "comes" should be "come," so there is still a mistake in the sentence.