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But Bill! That's really what she said! "Flash in the pan"! Her very words!
BTW, I love your analogy. Can't wait to tell everybody under the Broadway
bridge tonight. 8-)
|George Allaman | |
|Tech Writer | <clever, meaningful |
|Denver, Colorado | quip which somehow |
|Office (303) 624-1619 | summarizes my life |
|Home (303) 771-8060 | philosophy> |
|Alternate: georgea -at- csn -dot- net | |
On Wed, 10 Jan 1996, Bill Sullivan wrote:
> George Allaman writes:
> I vividly remember, when dinosaurs ruled the earth, being taught
> never to include punctuation that ends a sentence in quotes of a
> phrase, and although I have adapted, it has never felt right.
> "No," she said, "I hate punctuation." (Correct and okay by me)
> She thinks he's a "flash in the pan." (Apparently correct but I hate
> I would like it to be: She thinks he's a "flash in the pan".
> What's wrong is that you are using good honest quotation marks either
> for emphasis or out of some discomfort with the phrase. This is like
> a homeless person using a shopping cart for a suitcase. It's done
> and doable but it isn't what the originators intended.
> My rule of thumb for timid non-writers who want to put non-quotes in
> quotation marks is to tell them to stand up, throw their quote marks
> away (like a healed cripple throws away his crutches), and have the
> courage of their convictions. Hallelujah! If you like the words,
> stand up and use them proudly, possibly after first checking your
> good dictionary. It's really a situation thing. Sometimes the words
> the timid non-writer chooses aren't the best the can be, and that's
> the feeling the writer is disguising, and so we work together to try
> to phrase the thought in words the TNW can be proud of. At other
> times, the quotation mark slinger (often a manager or an engineer)
> may want to emphasize something like a button (On) or a menu choice
> (Cut). Here I would drag out the typography megilla of bold face,
> italics, underlining, and color and see what I can negotiate. That's
> Bill Sullivan
> bsullivan -at- deltecpower -dot- com
> "correct" version is illogical to me. The period marks the end of the
> sentence, not the quoted phrase (or word, in this case). Not that
> language was ever logical. Does anybody agree?