Re: Editor Please....

Subject: Re: Editor Please....
From: "Backer, Corinne" <CBacker -at- GLHEC -dot- ORG>
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 1999 09:47:25 -0500

Tim Alton said:
"When dealing with English, everything is opinion. So-called "rules"
merely conventions arrived at by successive generations of language
Technically, in the US the period is supposed to go inside of the
But this has always seemed illogical to me. In a sentence that's
enclosed in quotes, it seems reasonable..."

I think it's a little too late to apply logic and reason to English
grammar. :D
In a language that thrives on the exception to the rule, and where
spelling and syntax is haphazard at best, I think it IS important to
maintain the rules that hold the language together, particularly when our
profession tries to promote correct use of language and we purport to be
experts of a sort. If we changed the existing rules when they didn't seem
logical, we'd have a *real* mess on our hands - think of the confusion that
new computer terms have brought to the writing world, let alone messing with
old conventions.

Just my .02

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tim Altom
> Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 1999 8:05 PM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Fw: Editor Please....
> >I have often seen periods used outside of quotation marks as in the
> following
> >example:
> >
> >The girl said "Arrrgh".
> >
> >This has appeared so often that I am now questioning my own understanding
> of
> >puntuation rules which, as I recall, say that periods must be placed
> within
> the
> >quotation marks at the end of a sentence as in this example:
> >
> >The girl said "Arrgh."
> "Look, that girl just sat down on wet paint."
> This sentence begins and ends consistently, with a quote mark, indicating
> that the entire sentence is a quote. However in this sentence the entire
> thought isn't a quote, but rather there's a small quoted passage within
> the
> thought:
> The girl sat on wet paint and said "Arrgh".
> When a quoted passage is enclosed within the sentence, why not indicate
> that
> it's well and truly enclosed? Far better in that case, I'd think, to have
> the sentence terminate at the period, where it's supposed to, and put the
> closing quote before it.
> In fact, that's how I generally do it when I'm writing, even in the face
> of
> editors who object to it. Any day now the grammar Gestapo will show up on
> the doorstep and haul me off for doing such grievious harm to the
> language.
> Fortunately when my liberal arts degree was conferred, I got a poetic
> license with it that permits me to snub the grammar experts whenever I
> feel
> like it.
> Tim Altom
> Simply Written, Inc.
> Featuring FrameMaker and the Clustar Method(TM)
> "Better communication is a service to mankind."
> 317.562.9298
> From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=
> =

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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