dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
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posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:26am on 2006-11-03 under ,

"Ellipses...they are not commas...
 They are not periods...full stops...or pauses...
 Nor are they semicolons...though doubtful you know how to place one...
 Neither are they two dots...but always three...
 The triplets of punctuation...ellipses...
 Breathe in your mind...and not on the page...
 Their constant abuse at your pale hands...makes my interest trail...
 Off into infinity...like the ellipses..."

 
-- [livejournal.com profile] quettaser, in Fandom Wank on JournalFen, in a comment on 2006-10-22 [spelling corrected in response to a later comment from [livejournal.com profile] quettaser in the same thread]


Bonus quote because when I saw it I couldn't resist putting these two together:

"Nothin'g sa'ys q'uality fantas'y l'ike misuse'd apos'tro'phes." -- James Nicoll, 2004, regarding James Clemens's Wit'ch Storm [Usenet; message-ID <c0dug0$4te$1@panix3.panix.com&gt;]</small>

There are 8 comments on this entry. (Reply.)
 
posted by [identity profile] thespian.livejournal.com at 10:42am on 2006-11-03
really, you're quoting him so much, you should just start reading him every day at [livejournal.com profile] james_nicoll ;-)

(if you ever want to know why I wound up who and where I am, one of the reasons is when I was 13 years old I walked into his game store back in Kitchener. And proceeded to go and hang out there every day I could until I was 20.)
 
posted by [identity profile] anniemal.livejournal.com at 03:05pm on 2006-11-03
I'll abuse punctuation as I wish. Until everyone starts writing according to code instead of to heart, I live and let live.
 
posted by [identity profile] lysystratae.livejournal.com at 05:44pm on 2006-11-03
*giggle* Guilty of ellipse abuse... but they made a mistake. If it's the end of a sentence, there's 4, not 3....

:)
 
posted by [identity profile] siderea.livejournal.com at 09:20pm on 2006-11-03
Awesome icon picture! Did you carve it?
 
posted by [identity profile] lysystratae.livejournal.com at 01:57am on 2006-11-04
Yes, I did - thanks!
 
posted by [identity profile] blastedheath.livejournal.com at 12:07am on 2006-11-04
I'm going to abscond with both of those quotes. I may have them inscribed on opposite sides of a baseball bat, so that I have something physical to beat the most egregious punctuation abusers upside the head with.

Poetry notwithstanding, language is not music and the period is not a musical rest.
 
posted by [identity profile] dglenn.livejournal.com at 02:58pm on 2006-11-05
a) Ooh, I like the idea of an inscribed clue-by-four -- with raised letters, reversed so that the bruise will show the message forwards.

b) I agree in general, but ... There. Are. Exceptions. (Hmm. Is that using the period as a rest, or as a staccato mark? That ellipsis would be a fermata.) There is a music to language, and when trying to convey the music of the spoken word in writing, punctuation -- used technically correctly or wilfully abused to suit the purpose -- can be a useful tool in that endeavor. (For example, my choice of em-dashes instead of commas in the preceeding sentence (though I approximated them with doubled hyphens instead of bothering to insert the HTML &mdash;, "—", which choice is the subject of a separate, tangential, discussion on typography).) That said, for the perversion of punctuation to be really effective, it has to be done at useful times and in useful ways as a deliberate choice, not willy-nilly through ignorance. And any such trick, used gratuitously, gradually grows grating, I'll grant. Overuse destroys the effect.
 
posted by [identity profile] blastedheath.livejournal.com at 01:48pm on 2006-11-06
Quite true. While I'll admit to being a prescriptivist at heart, I do often use ellipsis as a pause because it 'looks better' than the proper double-dash. My ire is properly aimed at those who pass their not-even shorthand off as proper sentences and spelling, claiming that it's okay because they're implicitly understood. They're typically the same ones that devolve into 'WTF' and 'LOL' when you try to argue with them, which is even worse for discussion than the previous complaint.

It still makes me a little twitchy when I see people who should 'know better' doing it (that kernel of prescriptivism again), but tweaking text has a much different effect in the hands of someone who knows what they're doing, than it does with someone for whom proper punctuation is a myth.

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