Author Topic: Cato's Grammar Grumble  (Read 563851 times)

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Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #880 on: October 30, 2009, 06:30:10 AM »


 (But sometimes, as pointed out before, if you want to discredit the person speaking, you leave in all of the bad grammar, malaprops, etc.)

Also, the fact that this is a quote of someone speaking would be an argument for using Cato's colon instead of my that, since the first independent clause was setting up the second payload statement (even with its faulty or and specious distinction between run and operated). A colon here isn't meddlesome and does what punctuation is meant to do: interpret the pacing. Adding that puts a word in the speaker's mouth. This assumes, of course, it hadn't been there originally; that it is the sort of word that a transcriber is apt to accidentally cut out, as the Google folks are apparently well aware.
'

By quoting someone precisely, you do not discredit them: they discredit themselves!   $:)

The use of the Latin word Sic takes care of the problem of exactly quoting somebody's grammatical error(s).

Of course, you can push the discreditation by writing Sic!!! after the blunder.   0:)
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Offline Opus106

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #881 on: October 30, 2009, 08:14:32 AM »
Also, the fact that this is a quote of someone speaking would be an argument for using Cato's colon

*Chortles childishly*

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Navneeth

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #882 on: October 30, 2009, 08:55:13 AM »

I can see where a prepared story based on casual interviews, or even formal ones, will want the subject's words to be clear: the subject therefore should be given a pre-publication draft, so that all quotations are satisfactory to him or her.


On the other hand...

I just read excerpts of a book purporting to show an "insider's view" of the last presidential campaign by an insider.

When I saw page after page of detailed conversations, which supposedly took place in hallways or restaurants or airplanes, etc. etc. etc., all written in dialogue form with quotation marks, I knew these were fictive, despite the quotation marks.

I find that dishonest.

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

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Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #883 on: October 30, 2009, 04:22:30 PM »
This was never done, and I would be surprised if that's not standard at most papers. It was always the case for the three I worked for. Occasionally, when going over a tape, I'd find a need to contact them for clarification, but I never let the interviewee read the article beforehand.

Once someone asked for it as a condition for doing the interview, but my editors said no. They gave the interview anyway, and everything was fine.
'


Interesting: a former student of mine told me he usually let the subject approve the article.  I am somewhat sensitive about this: a local newspaper once interviewed me, and distorted a "quote" from me, complete with a grammatical error   >:D   which I had not made!!! 

You can imagine, therefore, how much Cato disliked the article, even though in general it was quite positive.   0:)
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Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #884 on: November 02, 2009, 05:13:36 PM »
I would be curious to know about the kind of publication and what sort of articles your former student was writing. I can see some areas where it would might be expected. If I were interviewing an expert who was talking about a very technical topic, I might want him to look it over just to make sure I got it right. But I did this for more than 25 years, and some of the interviews were for national publications.
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The memory has faded: this was back in the late 1970's!   :o
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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

MN Dave

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #885 on: November 05, 2009, 09:44:04 AM »
I have a questions for you guys. I want to write a piece of fiction that includes famous quotations but I don't necessarily want to make it clear who originally said them. The quotations will be well-known enough in general that most people would know them, but I'm wondering if I can run into any trouble doing this plagiarism-wise. I mean, if it's an old quotation, does anyone care if it was Benjamin Franklin who said it?

[Another note: It will be clear within the story that these are in fact quotations.]

Thanks.

MN Dave

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #886 on: November 05, 2009, 10:31:07 AM »
If you have a publisher, and if so, you lucky bastard, they would have someone in their legal dept who can tell you where citations are necessary -- surely not for the old stuff, unlessit might be in a recent translation.

I'd start with the useful overview in the Chicago Manual of Style, too lengthy to copy by hand (besides, they might sue me if I did). Sections 4.60 & 11.3 in the 15th edition.
'



Thanks. I'll check it out. This story might be more of a headache than it's worth.

karlhenning

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #887 on: November 05, 2009, 08:24:01 PM »
Fewer headaches to you, mon vieux!

MN Dave

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #888 on: November 06, 2009, 05:28:46 AM »
Danke.

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #889 on: November 06, 2009, 02:28:47 PM »
You might include an afterword, like Thomas Mann did for Doctor Faustus, when Schoenberg complained about the use of the 12-tone system being used for a demonic pact in the novel.

Be sure to use the word "supererogatory" in your afterword to make sure that everyone understands your use of quotations is for an ironic structure, and not for content or lack of originality.   0:)
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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MN Dave

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #890 on: November 06, 2009, 02:40:00 PM »
You might include an afterword, like Thomas Mann did for Doctor Faustus, when Schoenberg complained about the use of the 12-tone system being used for a demonic pact in the novel.

Be sure to use the word "supererogatory" in your afterword to make sure that everyone understands your use of quotations is for an ironic structure, and not for content or lack of originality.   0:)

Thanks, but I've already decided against it.

Joe Barron

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #891 on: November 06, 2009, 05:39:14 PM »
I have a questions for you guys. I want to write a piece of fiction that includes famous quotations but I don't necessarily want to make it clear who originally said them. The quotations will be well-known enough in general that most people would know them, but I'm wondering if I can run into any trouble doing this plagiarism-wise. I mean, if it's an old quotation, does anyone care if it was Benjamin Franklin who said it?

[Another note: It will be clear within the story that these are in fact quotations.]

Thanks.

Anything published before 1920 is out of copyright and can be printed in full without  attribution or fees. People quote Shakespeare all the time without retribution: look at "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead."

Plagiarism is not a legal concept. It is an ethical concept that can get you thrown out of academe, but there are no fines or jail time attached. One cannot be sued for plagiarism. The only legal question is copyright violation, and brief quotations, used for criticism or for parody, do fall under the fair use doctrine. Donald Barthelme, bless him, did something similar to what you're suggesting in the Viennese Opera Ball, when he quoted dialogue from "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" as though it were conversation at a party. To my knowledge, he did not suffer for it. You'll be fine.

I studied all this crap in communication law.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2009, 07:16:01 AM by Joe Barron »

MN Dave

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #892 on: November 06, 2009, 08:27:33 PM »
Thanks, Joe. I appreciate that.

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #893 on: December 08, 2009, 12:00:49 AM »
What's the difference between obliged and obligated? I just realised that I never use the second...
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Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #894 on: December 08, 2009, 07:48:36 AM »
In US English, Obligate is strictly a transitive verb. Websters draws the distinctions pretty clearly. I ran across this, that, judging from your spelling of realised, may be germane:

"My English friends, however, use it all the time. As a matter of fact, they use it in every single instance that I would use the word obligated. So is this all another tempest in a teapot?"
 
http://belletra.com/written-english/on-posting-regularly-obliged-or-obligated/

'Lapin


"Much obliged" can be heard even today out West as "very grateful" or "Thank you very much."

We are "much obliged" for the link, which has an interesting story about the legal usage in America of "obliged" vs. "obligated."
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Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #895 on: December 10, 2009, 02:10:17 PM »
Forty-six pages and still going strong--who'da thunkit!?

What is the current state of GMG's collective wisdom regarding the use of "!?"--cool, obnoxious, or who gives a rat's nether parts?
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Offline Benji

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #896 on: December 10, 2009, 04:34:39 PM »
Forty-six pages and still going strong--who'da thunkit!?

What is the current state of GMG's collective wisdom regarding the use of "!?"--cool, obnoxious, or who gives a rat's nether parts?

Hmmm.... I wouldn't use !? but I like to use ?! if it's a particularly dramatic question.

Did you just touch my bum?!  :o

Who ate my kinder egg?!  >:D

Santa isn't coming this year?!  :'(






Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #897 on: December 11, 2009, 06:13:58 AM »
Hmmm.... I wouldn't use !? but I like to use ?! if it's a particularly dramatic question.

Did you just touch my bum?!  :o

Who ate my kinder egg?!  >:D

Santa isn't coming this year?!  :'(



Agreed:"?!" for emphasizing the surprise element in a question is quite fine, but I would not reverse them.

For extreme surprise, I always three exclamation marks: I think that it simply looks better.

The child was chewing on the cat again!!!

The child was chewing on the cat!!

A purist would, of course, say that one exclamation mark suffices!
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Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #898 on: December 11, 2009, 06:50:21 AM »
I can see  it  for a case where you were questioningly repeating someone else's exclamation for clarification or as an implicit suggestion that they think twice about whether they meant it, such as in the following dialogue:

"B...!" shouted Bishop Sheen.
"B...!?" inquired 1956 Golden Gloves winner Albert Pell.

'Pan O'Beurre


I suspect Bishop Sheen never said that!   0:)
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Offline Benji

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #899 on: December 11, 2009, 07:19:11 AM »
Agreed:"?!" for emphasizing the surprise element in a question is quite fine, but I would not reverse them.

For extreme surprise, I always three exclamation marks: I think that it simply looks better.

The child was chewing on the cat again!!!

The child was chewing on the cat!!

A purist would, of course, say that one exclamation mark suffices!

Three punctuation marks does usually look better, though a friend of mine insists on using three question marks even when the question isn't in exclamation. E.g.

Do you want Italian for lunch???

Let's see...

Do you want Italian for lunch? No, thank you.
Do you want Italian for lunch?? I don't think so...
Do you want Italian for lunch??? MAMA MIA! OK ALREADY!

I think it adds a hint of aggression. One question mark establishes that it's a question; adding more should not make for a more probing question.  :P