Thursday, February 5, 2009

Punctuation. Are there rules? Or is it a matter of personal style?

" 'We are not going to be able to rebuild Afghanistan into a Jeffersonian democracy,' " he said recently in a sharp and sweeping contrast to his predecessor."

Wow. I took me a while to parse that in my head.
Nestled punctuation, indeed!

From Wikipedia:


Quotations and speech

Single or double quotation marks denote either speech or a quotation. Neither style – single or double – is an absolute rule, though double quotation marks are preferred in the United States, and both single and double quotation marks are used in the United Kingdom. A publisher’s or even an author’s style may take precedence over national general preferences.

Oh, the irony! The same day in the same paper has the following article too.

Punctuation as ideological warfare

According to Truss's book, punctuation seems to have between 3 and 8 functions per symbol.
In the strictest sense, more like 3 to 5.
I would like to supplement the HIOXian letter system with revised punctuation.
It simply provides the option to overtly indicate via modified diacritic which function a punctuation symbol is fulfilling.
One can just use a comma. Or one can indicate the comma is indicating a list.

Hioxian punctuation will also be clearly left-and-right pairs for various symbols, such as parantheses and quotation marks. Keep in mind that no HIOXian figure uses any element smaller than a bar segment. There are no 'dots'. Dots are easy to miss, being tiny. I suspect
half the reason folks are using more dashes these days is for visual clarity.

. ; : , - - - -

As the Baby Boomers age, visual clarity for reading a computer display will matter more.

I personally use a nifty Firefox plug-in called Image Zoom.

One can increase text size via Control + mouse scroll wheel.
Oddly, my WinXP changes font size but Macs simply zoom as if the text is an image.
The result on a Mac is a large but fuzzy letter. Not much better...

I really do need to attach some tabs to key passages in her book.
Her humour and wit was much appreciated.
Gawd, she'd HATE my blog, LOL.

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