Okay PaG or bad? - Page 3

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Thread: Okay PaG or bad?

  1. #21
    Criticism made it no less charming.

    Aquilo makes the very good point that time and culture and medium vary the use of punctuation. We've seen the use of the em-dash and the ellipsis change and almost replace the semi-colon for what seems to be more a style choice than any literary convention.
    "I don't know ... I'm making it up as I go ..." - Dr I Jones

    Nature abhors perfection - cats abhor a vacuum!

    "Faith can move mountains - she's a big girl!" (unknown/graffiti)

    If I act like I own the place, it's because I did.





  2. #22
    This might be a place to remark that, in the not really so distant past of European history, written communication and verbal communication were actually in different languages. I still find significant stylistic difference between the scholarly reading that I do and popular reading. Indeed, it's difficult to imagine the sorts of complex and contingent ideas which are dealt with in history or philosophy or science or law finding adequate expression without the strict grammar and language which for the most part forms the basis of style guides. Fiction, script-writing, popular essay and so forth, on the other hand, are often more concerned with communicating the expression and flavor of speech than that sort of complicated linguistic logic. They would also like to be more able to do it with a minimum of grammatical training. There is a definite trade off to recognize when one decides which path to follow.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. Steven Wright

  3. #23
    The more history I know, the better. If Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, or Hemingway had some good historical or stylistic reason for using those semicolons, I should probably say that.

    But the real issue is how to write well in 2015. The other "incorrect" semicolons were from Jodi Picoult and a Y/A author. Conventions help us communicate. If there's some good reason to break the convention, fine, but -- like me -- no one seems to be seeing it here.
    How to write a good start: Hidden Content . Useful, original information. Long and thorough.
    Includes Hidden Content (do you start with description?), Hidden Content (a favorite with publishers apparently), starting with Hidden Content (a lost art), and more.

  4. #24
    So, with regard to present writing, if one is pursuing writing as adjunct to scholarly pursuit, then attention to the prescripts of grammar is likely a useful endeavor. If, on the other hand, one is pursuing a career in the literary arts, overmuch attention to the minutiae of grammatical detail is likely mere distraction.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. Steven Wright

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    But the real issue is how to write well in 2015. The other "incorrect" semicolons were from Jodi Picoult and a Y/A author. Conventions help us communicate. If there's some good reason to break the convention, fine, but -- like me -- no one seems to be seeing it here.
    Today, I think the semicolon comes down to being probably the most flexible stylistic choice out of the punctuation marks. A full stop can't be exchanged for colon etc. But you don't have to have a semicolon present to show a closely related clauses. The words themselves can do that. It just depends on the impact (hard over soft) that you want to make with the closely related clauses:

    But you don't have to have a semicolon present to show a relationship between clauses. The words themselves can do that.
    But you don't have to have a semicolon present to show a relationship between clauses; the words themselves can do that.

    I kind of like the argument behind non-usage of the semicolon: it looks to act like semi-tautological material. If the words themselves already show a relation and a reader can deduce that from context, do you really need a semicolon to also say 'hey, closely related clause coming up'. It could be seen to act like the exclamation mark and following it up with 'he shouted'. Which is probabaly why so authors use them, some opt not to.

    But some modern authors might prefer to go by the longer pause old method of the semicolon if they've seen the style executed before. Some might just make a mistake.

    Which was the Jodi Picoult quote, Emma?
    Last edited by Aquilo; December 12th, 2015 at 04:22 PM. Reason: Tired... need coffee

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by ppsage View Post
    So, with regard to present writing, if one is pursuing writing as adjunct to scholarly pursuit, then attention to the prescripts of grammar is likely a useful endeavor. If, on the other hand, one is pursuing a career in the literary arts, overmuch attention to the minutiae of grammatical detail is likely mere distraction.
    Sam said that if there was an award for over-analyzing, I would get it. But analyzing the "minutiae" of grammar and punctuation has always helped my writing.

    Having said that, one of Aquilo's links (MedLinguists) does a great job of saying what is known, but doesn't seem that helpful to actual writing. In my PaG book, I try to talk about why you would use the semicolon instead of all your other choices. To give the most obvious: parallel form.

    She was quite sure he had not died in a construction accident; he had been attacked, and he had held up his hands against his attacker. (Jurassic Park)

    On some Thursdays the boys played baseball and the girls cheered us on; on alternate Thursdays it was the girls playing softball and the boys (hoping some of the girls would forget it was their turn and come in skirts) cheering them on. (Steven King, Revival)

    Flying doesn't bother me; the hour in the car with Charlie, though, I was a little worried about. (Twilight)
    How to write a good start: Hidden Content . Useful, original information. Long and thorough.
    Includes Hidden Content (do you start with description?), Hidden Content (a favorite with publishers apparently), starting with Hidden Content (a lost art), and more.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquilo View Post
    Today, I think the semicolon comes down to being probably the most flexible stylistic choice out of the punctuation marks. A full stop can't be exchanged for colon etc. But you don't have to have a semicolon present to show a closely related clauses. The words themselves can do that. It just depends on the impact (hard over soft) that you want to make with the closely related clauses:

    But you don't have to have a semicolon present to show a relationship between clauses. The words themselves can do that.
    But you don't have to have a semicolon present to show a relationship between clauses; the words themselves can do that.

    I kind of like the argument behind non-usage of the semicolon: it looks to act like semi-tautological material. If the words themselves already show a relation and a reader can deduce that from context, do you really need a semicolon to also say 'hey, closely related clause coming up'. It could be seen to act like the exclamation mark and following it up with 'he shouted'. Which is probabaly why so authors use them, some opt not to.

    But some modern authors might prefer to go by the longer pause old method of the semicolon if they've seen the style executed before. Some might just make a mistake.

    Which was the Jodi Picoult quote, Emma?
    Aquilo and I have argued about this. I think this period is wrong:

    But writing is a deep and wonderful thing. It opens deep wells of memory that were previously capped. (Stephen King, Revival)
    The Emma Rule is that if you need the second sentence to understand the first, there shouldn't be a period. The period asks the reader to stop and process the sentence, which doesn't work here. (I think the same for Aquilo's example.) So the semicolon says, "don't stop yet to process, there's more to come."

    You can do that with a dash. But to me dashes and semicolons are slightly different -- they might have the same length of pause, but they have a different pitch and a different meaning.




    Jodi Picoult wrote There's another page about my mother's hair color (red) and eye color(green); about whether she had any scars or deformities or tattoos or artificial limbs that could be used to identify her (no).
    How to write a good start: Hidden Content . Useful, original information. Long and thorough.
    Includes Hidden Content (do you start with description?), Hidden Content (a favorite with publishers apparently), starting with Hidden Content (a lost art), and more.

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