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From: Ardith Hinton (1:153/716)
To: All
Date: Tue, 27.11.12 00:52
one more anecdote
Hi, Paul! Recently you wrote in a message to Alexander Koryagin:

ak> (not processed: spam filter heuristic analysis disabled)

PQ> Some interesting extra bits here, Alexander. Smile

Indeed. And once you'd commented on them, I couldn't help running to
the dictionary to clarify my understanding of the word "heuristic"... [grin].

ak> A postman (amazed): "Oh, dear me! Is your mother at home?"
ak> The boy (with his eyes goggled, tittering): Try to guess, man!

PQ> Oh, yes. It will be interesting to see what Ardith may say
PQ> about the punctuation.

Okay, I'll bite... [chuckle].

1) Alexander forgot to use quotation marks to set off the boy's response, but
apart from that I see no errors in punctuation.

Stylistically it could also be argued that quotation marks are unnecessary
when dialogue is written as it would be in a play. In this example, however, I
see quite a lot of description preceding the dialogue... and IMHO the quotation
marks make the author's intentions more clear.

I'd suggest he choose one method or the other & stick with it.

2) He used double quotation marks, as North Americans usually do, where Brits
would be more likely to use single quotation marks.

Years ago I found myself saying "Either way is correct in Canada" so often
I asked the resident techie to set up a macro for me. YMMV, but it seems to me
Aussies are in much the same position as Canadians in that although we have our
own unique way of doing things we're very much aware that we need to be able to
get along with folks in other parts of the world. In a tagline, Alexander said
"Live and let live." I reckon I'm espousing the same principle when I say that
while my own writing indicates a bias in favour of USAian or British usage from
time to time I don't expect others to follow suit.

3) He used a single space after the colon, as he does between sentences. My
own preference would be to use double spaces. But there's a lot of controversy
nowadays WRT these matters... and again, either is correct in Canada.

PQ> I have my own ideas.

Fire away! You can teach us about Aussie English.... Smile

PQ> This was a deep and serious question for me just a
PQ> couple of days ago. You see, I often see jokes that
PQ> seem to be in need of having their punctuation fixed
PQ> before I post them in a local echo.

I've also been known to edit such things before passing them on. ;-)

PQ> So I make an attempt and then, sometimes, my fixed
PQ> version looks worse than the original.

Human beings are social creatures. Your punctuation looks good to me
... but a lot of people regard electronic media as transitory, and forget about
the potential for confusion when they're careless about mechanical details like
this. After having seen comma faults, run-on sentences, and dangling modifiers
for the ten thousandth time you may begin to doubt yourself. (Been there, done
that, managed to survive teaching junior high school English.Wink I found my best
defence was to make frequent use of ye olde Gage dictionary & whatnot.... SmileWink

PQ> After reading some of the links on the search result
PQ> listing I was even more confused. In the end I found
PQ> one that I was happy with and printed it to a .PDF file
PQ> for later reference (which is something else I do quite
PQ> a lot of).

Wonderful! Now I'd like to know the source of the latter.... Smile

--- timEd/386 1.10.y2k+
* Origin: Wits' End, Vancouver CANADA (1:153/716)


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