Author Topic: Cato's Grammar Grumble  (Read 555259 times)

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karlhenning

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #380 on: March 13, 2009, 11:51:40 AM »
. . . The story you just related seems not at all surprising but rather sadly normal in the public schools.

Dr. Dread

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #381 on: March 13, 2009, 12:02:12 PM »

Dr. Dread

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #382 on: March 13, 2009, 01:20:33 PM »
General rules are a matter of local custom, like Big Endian/Little Endian. American rules include some "exceptions". '



I keep everything inside, mainly because I write fiction and it's a habit. :)

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #383 on: March 13, 2009, 06:50:27 PM »
I keep everything inside, mainly because I write fiction and it's a habit. :)

Welllll....the rule says to put everything inside, but there are times when I have broken it, depending on the look or what I might be using the quotes for.

Example: How would you define the word "peripatetic"?

I do not like the quotes including the question mark, since it seems to interfere with the concentration on the word itself.

But I suppose a purist would insist on: How would you define the word "peripatetic?"

It just does not "look" right to me!   $:)
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #384 on: March 14, 2009, 04:01:43 AM »
But I suppose a purist would insist on: How would you define the word "peripatetic?"

But this is plain wrong. There is no such word as peripatetic?. The question mark belongs to the sentence, not to the word itself.  ;D
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Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #385 on: March 14, 2009, 04:39:58 AM »
But this is plain wrong. There is no such word as peripatetic?. The question mark belongs to the sentence, not to the word itself.  ;D

Amen!   0:)
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Dr. Dread

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #386 on: March 14, 2009, 05:27:40 AM »
If you're quoting a single letter or word in a sentence, I can see keeping the comma or period out of there.

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #387 on: March 14, 2009, 05:30:43 AM »
To say "the rule" is not accurate in a couple of ways. First, there are many different guides, and they vary in different ways, big and small. For example, among the many general differences between American and British guides is the tendency of British publications to favor putting end punctuation after the quotation marks, although you see this less in British newspapers.

There are many other rules about quotation marks and punctuation. The most exciting are those that focus narrowly on properly uniting quotation marks with colons and semicolons in different situations. They are as thrilling as a Raymond Chandler novel. Brace yourself: Many don't turn out the way you expect them to, but we have to learn to accept that this is how it is with maverick semicolons.

Not one who follows the Chicago Manual. Purists are pretty useless anyway, goobermenschen.

You are guided by good instincts.

'


Thanks for the comments!  I do not have a copy of the Chicago Manual, so maybe I should invest: it sounds sensible.

On punctuation: I tend to use it idiosyncratically (and, I hope, not idiotically!) as "musical instructions" of how fast to "play" the sentence.  

On semicolons: is there a case for eliminating the thing?  I have used it so rarely that I wonder how many consider it necessary.


"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Dr. Dread

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #388 on: March 14, 2009, 05:36:18 AM »
Thanks for the comments!  I do not have a copy of the Chicago Manual, so maybe I should invest: it sounds sensible.

On punctuation: I tend to use it idiosyncratically (and, I hope, not idiotically!) as "musical instructions" of how fast to "play" the sentence.  

On semicolons: is there a case for eliminating the thing?  I have used it so rarely that I wonder how many consider it necessary.




I use semicolons to divide two closely related sentences; I do it all the time.

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #389 on: March 14, 2009, 06:24:34 AM »
Thanks again for the comments!

On scholarly articles and punctuation: have you noticed how the titles of such things almost invariably have colons?  The field does not matter!  From Aesthetics to Zoology, practically every title will have a colon!

Of course, maybe the authors think a colon will help the reader to digest everything better!   0:)
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline Jay F

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #390 on: March 14, 2009, 08:04:49 AM »
Welllll....the rule says to put everything inside, but there are times when I have broken it, depending on the look or what I might be using the quotes for.

Example: How would you define the word "peripatetic"?

I do not like the quotes including the question mark, since it seems to interfere with the concentration on the word itself.

But I suppose a purist would insist on: How would you define the word "peripatetic?"

It just does not "look" right to me!   $:)
I was taught that it goes outside the quotation mark in this example.

Dr. Dread

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #391 on: March 14, 2009, 08:07:13 AM »
The copy editor can put it wherever they want. nyuk nyuk nyuk  ;D

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #392 on: March 14, 2009, 08:15:18 AM »
A niggling n.b.

Many style guides (most?) would have you capitalize what follows a colon if it is an independent clause.'

That is a rule I do not follow!    8)   

And copy editors!   :o

I chose the quotation mark example because my brother was taught at the University of Oklahoma that ALL quotation marks always go outside other punctuation marks!  He was apparently mentally seared, branded, imprinted, and otherwise brainwashed by this idea, since he complains about it in my writings!

But...consider the source of his brain damage!   0:)

Changing topics...

Friday's Wall Street Journal has a letter-to-the-editor about a manager at the WSJ, who banned the word "upcoming" from appearing in the paper.  He considered it redundant.  When it appeared after his warning came out, he sent another memo which said: "If I see 'upcoming' in the paper one more time, I will be downcoming and someone will be outgoing."   :o

(p. A10 from Ted Stanton of Houston)
« Last Edit: March 14, 2009, 08:36:23 AM by Cato »
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Dr. Dread

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #393 on: March 14, 2009, 08:17:34 AM »
A niggling n.b.

Many style guides (most?) would have you capitalize what follows a colon if it is an independent clause.'

Makes sense to me.

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #394 on: March 14, 2009, 08:35:47 AM »
An addition to the Wall Street Journal issue mentioned above (Friday's issue, March 13th):

The WSJ manager was named Barney Kilgore!  Great Name!
« Last Edit: March 14, 2009, 08:38:00 AM by Cato »
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline Ten thumbs

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #395 on: March 14, 2009, 01:43:21 PM »
I use semicolons to divide two closely related sentences; I do it all the time.
This is what semicolons are for - likewise colons. As neither is a stop, no capital is required.
Rules in England seem to differ from those in the US. The general rule for quotations here is that punctuation only goes inside the quotation marks if they are part of the quotation. In my view this the most logical approach.
A day may be a destiny; for life
Lives in but little—but that little teems
With some one chance, the balance of all time:
A look—a word—and we are wholly changed.

Dr. Dread

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #396 on: March 14, 2009, 01:46:48 PM »
This is what semicolons are for - likewise colons. As neither is a stop, no capital is required.
Rules in England seem to differ from those in the US. The general rule for quotations here is that punctuation only goes inside the quotation marks if they are part of the quotation. In my view this the most logical approach.

"But you still put a comma here," he said.

Offline Jay F

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #397 on: March 14, 2009, 02:10:13 PM »
I would be curious to know the source.'
School, a million years ago. I've never heard of it being any other way until this thread.

Offline Ten thumbs

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #398 on: March 15, 2009, 01:19:13 AM »
"But you still put a comma here," he said.
Precisely - the comma terminates the spoken sentence and is part of the quotation. On the other hand: 'Put your rubbish in this bin', the sign read, unless there actually is a comma on the sign!
Actually, in the latter case, I would always write : the sign read 'Put the full stop outside, please'.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2009, 04:25:00 AM by Ten thumbs »
A day may be a destiny; for life
Lives in but little—but that little teems
With some one chance, the balance of all time:
A look—a word—and we are wholly changed.

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #399 on: March 16, 2009, 10:24:26 AM »
Precisely - the comma terminates the spoken sentence and is part of the quotation. On the other hand: 'Put your rubbish in this bin', the sign read, unless there actually is a comma on the sign!
Actually, in the latter case, I would always write : the sign read 'Put the full stop outside, please'.

I can accept that!

Orwellian language alert: the Catholic diocese of Cleveland announced the closing of over 10% of its parishes, and called the event "an occasion for joy" because it would lead to a better diocese.   :o

"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)