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post #91 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Wang
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quotation_mark#Punctuation Quote: \t \t \t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t\tDue to the influence of computer science (see BNF rules for describing formal languages), what is essentially (if unknowingly) the British standard has become more widely accepted in the U.S.
i'm on board with that. i think, generally, something that is quoted should be treated as an untouchable symbol; if you add a punctuation mark to it, it changes the meaning.
post #92 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdawson808
Thank you. I now have a name to put to what my students constantly do. They just do not get this logical fallacy. It is maddening.


bob

How embarrassing!
Thanks.
post #93 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Margaret
How embarrassing!
Thanks.

Are you one of my students?

bob
post #94 of 202
A: We can't give you this loan unless you have someone who can vouch for you.

B: Quimby will vouch for me.

A: But why should we trust Quimby's word?

B: Oh, I'll vouch for Quimby. His word's as good as gold.
post #95 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdawson808
Are you one of my students?

bob

I guess I am now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nantucket Red
A: We can't give you this loan unless you have someone who can vouch for you.

B: Quimby will vouch for me.

A: But why should we trust Quimby's word?

B: Oh, I'll vouch for Quimby. His word's as good as gold.

Oh, I get that meaning. I just thought the other one was a legit substitution for "raises the question," i.e., "begs [one to ask] the question". I still like the strictly incorrect/evolved usage -- I don't think that in context it's easily confused with the other meaning.
post #96 of 202
Today I overheard a woman talking about a costume her husband was to wear for a party, saying that "... he probably won't have the kahunas to put it on."
post #97 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick M
Today I overheard a woman talking about a costume her husband was to wear for a party, saying that "... he probably won't have the kahunas to put it on."

did she mean cojones?


i'll add one. the word panini is the plural form of the singluar panino.

therefore, the correct way to order is, "i'll have a panino please." or, "i'd like two panini." there is no such thing as a panini.
post #98 of 202
I've never received a satisfactory explanation for the way "it" is treated in the English language. The possessive is its. And the contraction is it's. With all other words, one doesn't change it (one uses the apostrophe) and one knows which use it is by the context.

I also have quoted a favorite grammatical quote of Churchill's:

"Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I shall not put."

I also read a piece some time ago about the lengthening of words. the example is move and its past tense moved. Someone substituted motive to describe what moved someone to do something. Then motive became motivation. Then, the author felt it was not a far step to change these to verbs -- motived; motivationed. This "Stretch Trend" can be seen in other words which some of you may be aware of. (Thank you Winston. )
post #99 of 202
Tenants != tenets. How come no one gets that right?
post #100 of 202
I knew a guy once who couldn't tell the difference between "or other" and "or rather." I tried telling him a few times. He just seemed confused or something or rather.
post #101 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by matadorpoeta
did she mean cojones?
That's what I'm thinking.

Also, RIDiculous. I thought initially that REDiculous might have been the Americanized spelling, I'd seen it so often. Little did I know that people don't spell no good on the Internet.
post #102 of 202
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arethusa
I knew a guy once who couldn't tell the difference between "or other" and "or rather." I tried telling him a few times. He just seemed confused or something or rather.
Yeah, my friend when I was a kid used to say "something rather". Needless to say, We don't speak to him anymore.
post #103 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage Gent
"They" is not a singular pronoun.
I disagree. Here's an appeal to authority for a rationale. From Brian Cantwell Smith's On the Origin of Objects (MIT Press, 1996) “I think it is not only acceptable, but a good idea, to use ‘they’ and its derivatives (‘them,’ ‘their,’ etc.) as syntactically plural but semantically singular third-person personal pronouns of unmarked sex. It seems the best alternative. ‘He/she’ and ‘his or her’ are irretrievably awkward, and no entirely new or invented word is ever likely to be satisfactory. And there is precedent. In the second person case, we are entirely accustomed to using the syntactically plural ‘you’ to convey semantically singular as well as semantically plural meanings. (In formal writing, the syntactically plural ‘we’ is even sometimes used as a stylised and somewhat detached form of singular first-person reference—though I myself prefer the syntactically singular ‘I’.) So using ‘they’ fits into a general pattern of employing the grammatically plural form when pointed, individual reference is not justified. Admittedly, at least today, ‘the painter picked up their brush’ will sound awkward and informal to some (to say nothing of ‘they washed themself’). But the awkwardness may pass, and anyway informality is better than artifice.” On the placement of commas and periods with respect to quotation marks, I used the "phone a friend" option. His take is pretty interesting: Purely logically, if the final word in a sentence is quoted, but the whole sentence is not quoted, it would seem as if the ending quote mark should preceed the final period. Purely logically, that is, it would seem as if (S1) would be the “correct” punctuation, as opposed to (S2): S1. He called it “post-hoc rationalization”. S2. He called it “post-hoc rationalization.” On so-called monospaced or “fixed-width” fonts (fonts like those on old-fashioned typewriters, in which each letter is given the same amount of horizontal space on a line), the logical answer is also the correct answer. So if typing on a typewriter, follow S1: S1'. He called it "post-hoc rationalization". According to professional typographers, however, the situation changes with so-called proportionally-spaced (or “variable-width”) fonts—that is, fonts that allocate different amounts of horizontal space to each letter, depending on how wide it is (i.e., so that ‘i’ ends up using quite a bit less space than the letter ‘w’). In such cases, they say, the final period or comma should be “moved inside” the quote marks. Thus, in a proportionally-spaced font, (S2) above is correct, rather than (S1). This is the convention you will find enforced if you publish a book or article in a professional journal. Why contravene logic? The typesetters’ answers are roughly these: a. Printed periods and commas are so small that, if they are “out on their own,” rather than nestled against a character, the eye tends to treat them as specks or bits of dirt. We think of periods as mere dots, that is; but in reality (so typesetters claim) psychological truth is that to be a period is to be a small dot nestled to the right and towards the bottom of a character. b. When a period or comma is brought inside a quote mark, the subsequent character kerning means that, in the final output, the period and the quote mark will be almost on top of each other, vertically. Whereas a monospaced font (S1'), above, would put the quote mark decidedly to the right of the period, in a proportional font it ends up barely to the right at all. c. Human reading processes are not only automatic and subconscious, but proceed in parallel. Given (a) and (b), therefore there isn’t really much psychological reality, in (S2), to the fact that the period is to the right of the quote mark; really, it is read almost simultaneously. I don’t know what you make of these arguments. I used to be a strict rationalist, and thus to prefer (S1) over (S2). But working with professional typesetters has convinced me that I was being naive and intransigent, and that they were right that, in the proper (now common) circumstances they described, (S2) is the way to go. Two final comments: a. It is only periods and commas that “move in inside the quote marks” in this way; semicolons, colons, question marks, and exclamation points all stay outside. b. In some circumstances, sense dictates that these rules should be over-ruled. One example is when spelling itself is the subject matter. Thus (i) is clearly to be preferred over (ii): i. Your password is the string “cat23-45”. ii. Your password is the string “cat23-45.”
post #104 of 202
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trogdor
I disagree. Here's an appeal to authority for a rationale. From Brian Cantwell Smith's On the Origin of Objects (MIT Press, 1996)

"I think it is not only acceptable, but a good idea, to "use "˜they' and its derivatives ("˜them,' "˜their,' etc.) as syntactically plural but semantically singular third-person personal pronouns of unmarked sex. It seems the best alternative. "˜He/she' and "˜his or her' are irretrievably awkward, and no entirely new or invented word is ever likely to be satisfactory. And there is precedent. In the second person case, we are entirely accustomed to using the syntactically plural "˜you' to convey semantically singular as well as semantically plural meanings. (In formal writing, the syntactically plural "˜we' is even sometimes used as a stylised and somewhat detached form of singular first-person reference"”though I myself prefer the syntactically singular "˜I'.) So using "˜they' fits into a general pattern of employing the grammatically plural form when pointed, individual reference is not justified. Admittedly, at least today, "˜the painter picked up their brush' will sound awkward and informal to some (to say nothing of "˜they washed themself'). But the awkwardness may pass, and anyway informality is better than artifice."

No sir, I don't like it. I think I read this in an English class, and I think that giving in to the lazy way is wrong. However, I also think that using the PC "his or her" every time is ridiculous. In unsure cases I tend to use the most likely correct pronoun and default to the male, as my way of sticking it to The Woman.

Quote:

On the placement of commas and periods with respect to quotation marks, I used the "phone a friend" option. His take is pretty interesting:

Purely logically, if the final word in a sentence is quoted, but the whole sentence is not quoted, it would seem as if the ending quote mark should preceed the final period. Purely logically, that is, it would seem as if (S1) would be the "correct" punctuation, as opposed to (S2):

S1. He called it "post-hoc rationalization".
S2. He called it "post-hoc rationalization."

On so-called monospaced or "fixed-width" fonts (fonts like those on old-fashioned typewriters, in which each letter is given the same amount of horizontal space on a line), the logical answer is also the correct answer. So if typing on a typewriter, follow S1:

S1'. He called it "post-hoc rationalization".

According to professional typographers, however, the situation changes with so-called proportionally-spaced (or "variable-width") fonts"”that is, fonts that allocate different amounts of horizontal space to each letter, depending on how wide it is (i.e., so that "˜i' ends up using quite a bit less space than the letter "˜w'). In such cases, they say, the final period or comma should be "moved inside" the quote marks. Thus, in a proportionally-spaced font, (S2) above is correct, rather than (S1). This is the convention you will find enforced if you publish a book or article in a professional journal.

Why contravene logic? The typesetters' answers are roughly these:

a. Printed periods and commas are so small that, if they are "out on their own," rather than nestled against a character, the eye tends to treat them as specks or bits of dirt. We think of periods as mere dots, that is; but in reality (so typesetters claim) psychological truth is that to be a period is to be a small dot nestled to the right and towards the bottom of a character.

b. When a period or comma is brought inside a quote mark, the subsequent character kerning means that, in the final output, the period and the quote mark will be almost on top of each other, vertically. Whereas a monospaced font (S1'), above, would put the quote mark decidedly to the right of the period, in a proportional font it ends up barely to the right at all.

c. Human reading processes are not only automatic and subconscious, but proceed in parallel. Given (a) and (b), therefore there isn't really much psychological reality, in (S2), to the fact that the period is to the right of the quote mark; really, it is read almost simultaneously.

I don't know what you make of these arguments. I used to be a strict rationalist, and thus to prefer (S1) over (S2). But working with professional typesetters has convinced me that I was being naive and intransigent, and that they were right that, in the proper (now common) circumstances they described, (S2) is the way to go.

Two final comments:

a. It is only periods and commas that "move in inside the quote marks" in this way; semicolons, colons, question marks, and exclamation points all stay outside.

b. In some circumstances, sense dictates that these rules should be over-ruled. One example is when spelling itself is the subject matter. Thus (i) is clearly to be preferred over (ii):

i. Your password is the string "cat23-45".
ii. Your password is the string "cat23-45."

Great answer. However, I will continue doing it my way unless what I write is destined for print.
post #105 of 202
"Unbeknownst" is a colloquialism on roughly the same level as "ain't."

Simply saying "unknown to me" instead of "unbeknownst to me" not only saves space, but also avoids sounding absurdly pompous or mock-intellectual.

Also, regarding the construction of the above sentence, "not only . . . but also . . ." go together. If you use the one, you must balance it with the other.
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