# Friday, 07 August 2009

Lynnne Truss is a stickler - a stickler for proper punctuation. 

I don't know if she wanders the streets with a marker to add missing apostrophes - such as on posters for the movie Two Weeks Notice; or with white stickers to conceal extraneous punctuation - such as in a store signs that read "Boat Motor's", but I know that she is tempted to do so. I know that it pains her to see such misuse of common punctuation in public places. She agonizes each time she sees "its" and "it's" misused.

She put together "Eats, Shoots & Leaves" - a small volume designed to clarify the proper usage of punctuation in the English language and to pursuade us that it is important. 

Like Ms. Truss, I agree on the importance of punctuation, particularly in public or professional communication; but I don't always know the correct rules, so her advice is useful.

The book devotes a full chapter to the use and abuse of the apostrophe; another to the comma; a third to the dash; and so on. For each punctuation mark in question, Ms. Truss lists the proper usages of that punctuation and some common, and annoying, violations of those rules.  For example, her book lists 17 distinct uses for the comma.

It’s a difficult task because punctuation rules are sometimes vague and open to interpretation; and because the rules are often broken by respected writers; and because the rules change in a living language like English. 

But Truss does her best to clarify the vagaries and to evangelize the static, unambiguous rules. It's important because the meaning of a sentence can change dramatically, depending on the punctuation: "Extra-marital sex" does not mean the same as "Extra marital sex";

The poor punctuation of "Eats, Shoots & leaves" (the title; not the book) misrepresents the characteristics of a panda. An extraneous comma suggests that a panda employs firearms after its meal and before its exit. Correctly punctuated ("Eats shoots and leaves"), the phrase describes a panda's favorite meal.

Most of Ms. Truss's advice does not sound like a textbook. Regarding comma usage, for example, she dictates the rule: "Don't use commas like a stupid person". What she means is that one should step back and read a sentence to verify that the punctuation conveys the correct meaning. 
For example, the sentence
"Leonora walked on her head, a little higher than usual."
is grammatically correct, but probably not what the author intended.

Despite her passion for the topic, her style is light and engaging. I laughed out loud several times while reading this short volume. She parenthetically refers to Gertrude Stein as a "strange woman" (presumably because she disagrees with nearly every opinion Ms. Stein holds on punctuation); and she once described a long, over-punctuated sentence as exhaustedly slipping into a comma.

I really enjoyed this book and will keep it on my bookshelf beside Strunk and White's excellent The Elements of Style because it is concise, accessible and extremely useful.

Friday, 03 May 2013 23:48:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Now that the whole world uses English as the international luagnage (to the extent that we now speak of Englishes ) it might be dangerous to publish a guide on how to pronounce English words. If anybody who speaks English as their second luagnage wants such a work, you can guide them towards the Oxford English Dictionary. It's OK to help people understand the difference in meaning between auger and augur , or sunk and sank but it would be asking too much to expect everyone to pronounce a word a certain way, especially when the native speakers from Britain pronounce things differently in towns only a few kilometres apart.
Tuesday, 07 May 2013 14:59:34 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
7vvJKE , [url=http://xukaaiaggxtq.com/]xukaaiaggxtq[/url], [link=http://eiuskzvcprfr.com/]eiuskzvcprfr[/link], http://cssuppegaeqc.com/
Thursday, 09 May 2013 11:08:37 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I was great hanging out with you and the group Friday night. Thanks again for the ride back to the hotel! BTW, That was an awesome adhoc “Michigan Left” FTW! I feel bad about missing your ActiveRecord talk, but you were up against Jim. As you found out talking to him later, Jim has some really great insights into software estimation in the realm of agile techniques. I hope your AR talk will be at CodeMash so I can finally catch it.This was my first AADODN, and I must say, I was impressed. The crew of contributing UG leaders did a great job in planning. The only issue I found was the five minute buffer between sessions. This didn’t leave much time to talk to the speaker and/or folks between. I understand its tough to cram all the value-add into one day, but the hallway conversations are an important part of these events.Other than that minor tidbit, I was glad I made the drive (or the ride, Joe did the driving I plan on returning to future AADODNs hang with the tribe and get my .Net on!

Thursday, 09 May 2013 11:08:38 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I was great hanging out with you and the group Friday night. Thanks again for the ride back to the hotel! BTW, That was an awesome adhoc “Michigan Left” FTW! I feel bad about missing your ActiveRecord talk, but you were up against Jim. As you found out talking to him later, Jim has some really great insights into software estimation in the realm of agile techniques. I hope your AR talk will be at CodeMash so I can finally catch it.This was my first AADODN, and I must say, I was impressed. The crew of contributing UG leaders did a great job in planning. The only issue I found was the five minute buffer between sessions. This didn’t leave much time to talk to the speaker and/or folks between. I understand its tough to cram all the value-add into one day, but the hallway conversations are an important part of these events.Other than that minor tidbit, I was glad I made the drive (or the ride, Joe did the driving I plan on returning to future AADODNs hang with the tribe and get my .Net on!

Sunday, 12 May 2013 07:59:52 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Now that the whole world uses English as the international language (to the extent that we now speak of “Englishes”) it might be dangerous to publish a guide on how to pronounce English words. If anybody who speaks English as their second language wants such a work, you can guide them towards the Oxford English Dictionary. It’s OK to help people understand the difference in meaning between “auger” and “augur”, or “sunk” and “sank” but it would be asking too much to expect everyone to pronounce a word a certain way, especially when the native speakers from Britain pronounce things differently in towns only a few kilometres apart.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013 07:05:43 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
The first rule of written communication is that the coder (writer) and the decoder (reader) understand the message with none of the context that is available in face-to-face communication. Do you speak "it's" and "its" differently? I don't. We used knowing and using proper punctuation to decide whether to place students in college English 101 or an English preparatory class 090 when I worked in the college writing center as a tutor. "It's" and "its" can be a marker of educational attainment if people are trying to write the best that they know how to write. There are many other areas that students struggle with attempting to transition from high school to college writing (especially English as second language (ESL) students).I think people make the "it's" and "its" mistake for one or all of three reasons: 1) they don't know any better, 2) they miss it in haste, or 3) they don't care because either one works.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013 08:44:04 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
A colleague relctney emailed me a copy of the Lead Letter in Science magazine, May 7, 2010, entitled Climate Change and the Integrity of Science. My friend is a scientist, he is a believer in AGW, and he thought the letter was authoritative. I, on the other hand, am only a Philosophy instructor. But, I must say that every time I read that letter, I get angrier and more disgusted. With the publication of this letter (a despicable, lowly political hack job), the magazine and all the signers relinquish all claim to scientific integrity. There is not one solid thing to hold onto in this letter. This letter is full of the most foul ad hominems, it whines and plays the victim, it makes vague complaints and vague accusations (omitting any particulars, so that any reply would be impossible), begs the question by simply making bold assertion, illegitmately uses appeal to authority and appeal to concensus, whitewashes the climategate affair (calling it McCarthy-like to attack their friends, again without bothering to mention specific charges like stonewalling FOI requests). They even have their own version of Pascal’s wager, though it is a wager about the truth of AWG, not about the existence of God. Can you find it? They even smear some of my heroes like Galileo, Darwin, and Einstein, seeming to suggest that they were in it to build reputations and gain recognition. NO! These were men possessed by the quest for scientific truth and understanding. Any person who cannot see that discourse on this level has no place in scientific debate is a person who has no moral integrity. I am going to deconstruct this stupid letter line by line, and maybe you all would like to sign a copy and send a complaint to the so-called Science magazine, to the U.S academy of sciences, and maybe even one to Inhof and the Attorney General of Virginia. So,here is your assignment. If you are smart enough to know that AGW is true, are you smart enough to locate the ad hominems in the Integrity of Science letter, and are you smart enough to say why such fallacious reasoning has no place in scientific discussion? By the way, you don’t need a Ph.D. in Philosophy or a statement by the American Philosophical Association to know that ad hominem is scum-bag argumentation and that it is wrong. Cheers.[DC: The wide difference of opinion between you and your scientist colleague is a microcosm of the gulf between scientists and some portions of the general public. It also appears that you have no objection to the initiatives of Senator Inhofe and the Virginia Attorney General. You are entitled to your opinion, however ill-informed it may be. However, I must warn you in advance that your initial comment is already overly long, and it certainly would be unacceptable to post a "line-by-line" critique. So please publish it elsewhere, and if you like you can point to it here. Thanks! ]

Sunday, 26 May 2013 06:45:06 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Dear Sir,Your suggestion of adding "_nomap" to the SSID of WIFI networks that don't want to be included in Googles database has several flaws.Firstly, Google has already collected the data and mapped the locations of a large number of networks, is Google proposing to repeat this process to allow people to opt out of the scheme ?Secondly, not many private individuals have the necessary skill to change their SSID, in a large number of cases their WIFI routers either arrive pre configured, or are set up by a third party.Thirdly, the SSID is a fixed length field, adding "_nomap" may exceed this length for some.Fourthly, businesses and companies have naming standards are google proposing that they change their naming standards at Googles behest, will Google be recompensing them for this work ?I propose a better idea, don't collect WIFI data at all, as it's none of Google's business how many private WIFI networks are out there, any public access points can always submit their location for inclusion if they wish.It's a war drivers charter, even encrypted networks are vulnerable to intrusion these days and you are amassing a database of the location and name of every WIFI network.And you propose that we have to "opt out" rather than "opt in", probably because you are concerned that the "opt in" takeup won't be high enough to justify the cost of the scheme.I suppose a few million people and businesses having to change their WIFI settings as opposed to Google simply not collecting the data is the best solution for Google, I can assure you it is not.Speaking as a person running a business from home and the owner of an encrypted WIFI network, which I would rather people did not come and try to hack as I use it for company business and the information on it is confidential.I can state categorically that :-1 - I will not be changing any details of my network to make Googles life easier, I am not a Google employee, Google have no right to tell me what to do and it is arrogant of Google to assume that they can.and2 - If I find that my SSID has been included in some publicly accessible database that any war driving Tom, Dick or Harry can access or that my company data has been collected from my WIFI network without my explicit permission in writing, then Google will be hearing from my solicitors in very short order and I suspect this will not be the only case.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013 13:03:10 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
apodefil sildenafil >:-OOO buy cialis 201575
Thursday, 30 May 2013 06:56:54 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Dear Kate,Sorry for engaging with your posted text so late, hopefully this will still reach you. Three quick points, the first purely informational in case you aren’t aware of it but probably are. Tim Ingold, Jo Lee, Hayden Lorimer, and Katrín Lund have all been involved in various studies that deal with walking. For example, there was one recently entitled Culture from the Ground which was ESRC project focusing on recreational rambling and hillwalking in Scotland. Culture from the Ground: Walking, Movement and Placemaking, 2004-2006 (see ). This research was designed to reveal the sociality of walking through an ethnographic study of everyday pedestrian movements. They explored how walking binds time and place in people’s experience, relationships and life-histories. Ingold has an insightful paper in the JMC 9 (3): 315-340 in 2004 called Culture from the Ground: The World Perceived Through the Feet.The second point’s a contrastive observation. The first thing that came to mind in reading your short piece about Footpaths was the potentially interesting parallel you have here to approach the tangential issue of urban exploration and spatial restriction, especially through the lens of Free Running or Parkour. This is of course important because you cite de Certeau who is of course writing about movement in the city. But it is also relevant since you mention issues dealing with the politics of access to the countryside which Iain Borden explores so well through his study of how skateboarding subcultures appropriate, contest and manipulate urban space.Finally, a rather asinine question. What about art and walking à la Richard Long?Anyway, best of luck with the research. Sounds fascinating.

Monday, 03 June 2013 06:50:03 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Here I go again, leaving comments on my own posts, but I want to keep these notes together!Norton also wrote that versification sometimes forced a period into the middle of sentences because the end of a verse feels final, like the end of a sentence (Amos 1:3-4; Acts 21:40 in the 1611 KJV).Benjamin Blayney in 1769 revised 17th-century punctuation in light of 18th-century standards, stripping out a lot of unnecessary commas (which tend to clutter the text—as in modern German) but otherwise (in Norton’s view) making the punctuation heavier.A funny comment from Norton: “The only thing sacred about this [KJV] punctuation is that it has not been changed for a quarter of a millennium.” (2:155)“The practice of starting a new verse on a new line is one of the greatest barriers to a coherent reading of the Bible, splitting the text into small units only for convenience finding references.” (2:158)Norton also speaks effectively against the use of italics in the text. Most readers simply don’t understand what the italics mean. (2:162)

Friday, 07 June 2013 12:53:42 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
lasix :-O viagraa 350932
Friday, 07 June 2013 12:53:43 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
auto insurance home fzogju usa viagra order buy gfvd
Friday, 07 June 2013 12:53:58 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
nexium 538 lasix =[[[
Thursday, 20 June 2013 16:33:55 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
levitra gamecube online games rgyp auro insurance qoutes 280 cheap car insurance New Orleans 8-] buy cialis online >:( cheap car insurance ttuya
Sunday, 23 June 2013 15:36:39 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
ordering cialis online vhtip online colleges =]]] cialis 81573 accredited online schools iblc which is the cheap car insurance %)))
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 06:26:04 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
auto insurance quotes GA %-))) auto insurance inexpensive 82859 car insurance rate >:DDD Viagra Ordering Online 445 distance learning introduction >:-[ buying cialis online 8[[[
Sunday, 30 June 2013 12:51:28 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
New York auto insurance quotes >:[[[ sildenafil 8-OOO performance car insurance specialist rbl Columbus car insurance quotes :OO homeowners insurance california 891 car insurance rate 4471 cheap auto insurance 889
Sunday, 30 June 2013 12:51:28 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
accutane 425605 online college 9460 sildenafil 4707 prednisone tingo car insurance lamborghini blc
Sunday, 30 June 2013 12:51:28 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
auto insurance quotes CA 372249 degree online international business beyjh Columbus car insurance quotes stax online colleges 384632 online community colleges 792353
Sunday, 30 June 2013 12:51:29 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
accutane =-DDD auto insurance quotes cqyncs low price viagra on line kdxc viagra prices rbout poker starting hand rankings 12336 car insurance quotes psmjos
Sunday, 30 June 2013 12:51:30 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
accutane ikiddo generic sildenafil viagra %OO online colleges 413882 viagra 309 cheap prices on cialis =-[
Sunday, 30 June 2013 12:51:31 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
buy viagra qwddi california online law schools :-( auto insurance quote dwjx car insurance rate >:-PPP Viagre 2569 infinity auto insurance ziubkj
Sunday, 30 June 2013 12:51:32 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
best sites to buy generic viagra 305193 California auto insurance quotes qjotz car insurance ithaca 8[[[ car insurance quotes Columbus :-O levitra >:DDD first time car insurance age 20 for michigan 8-]] buy car insurance online ncrag
Sunday, 30 June 2013 12:51:32 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
car insurance quotes OH 64386 qauto insurance quaotes 8028 degree programs adult cjscj buy cialis :-]]] affordable online colleges vea top cheap auto insurance 153
Sunday, 30 June 2013 12:51:33 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
vigara by mail 8O auto insurance quotes arsmer online masters degrees dbwk cialis 10410 cheap car insurance starting October 1st hyo viagra online :PPP
Sunday, 30 June 2013 12:51:42 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
online college :-))) buy viagra %]]] cheap car insurance Missouri >:] online degree in medicine kynd viagra online nlvvz
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 22:44:16 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
car insurance quotes 7522 insurance auto quotes bot companies car insurence 141 buy cheap cialis online 334067 car insurance cheap etti
Sunday, 07 July 2013 20:08:30 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
auto insurance quotes dolhcp cheap auto insurance 907 viagra pills >:[ buy viagra online 077731 viagra online no prescription =-( purchase viagra 849162
Tuesday, 09 July 2013 05:00:08 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
insurance quo =-((( Competitive auto insurance with 2 crashes xvczn best price cialis :-OO auto insurance quotes 88456 free nj car insurance quotes dxjlnd feedback on buying cialis online from MD price fsvs
Thursday, 11 July 2013 05:26:36 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
new car insurance on 90065 fauto insurance rates =-PP low car insurance =-]]] buy online viagra %P car insurance quotes 302
Monday, 15 July 2013 19:09:50 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
AZ car insurance quotes free 8O sale on viagra yyhonv car insurance quotes %((( online auto insurance 60143 buy online viagra with online screening 10059 auto insurance socal >:OOO tips for saving on car insurance quote on home kjd
Monday, 15 July 2013 19:09:55 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
female car insurance quotes 431252 best car insure 031413 save on auto insurance 874 NJ car insurance 051 low car insurance quote strni instant car insurance quotes Fort Worth 746
Thursday, 18 July 2013 16:47:11 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
WANT TO BUY VIAGRA :-DDD Go Buy Pill Cialis 778754 impotence remedy 8-PP cheapest auto insurance quotes in florida Wisconsin wbopcv free insurance car quotes 204 CA auto cheap insurance >:-OO
Thursday, 18 July 2013 16:47:21 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
auto insurance 609 accutane crohns disease lawyer mxkgdv cheap auto insurance online in florida 1013 chea car insurance IN 2521 Columbus low car insurnce 930 qualcare health insurance %D
Sunday, 21 July 2013 09:52:53 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Houston liability insurance pollution ulx insurance quotes auto Austin 538 car insurance quotes 747 free automobile insurance quote 0065 cheap online car insurance quotes jksqgs michigan auto insurance 316755 Philadelphia car insurance quote vicb
Thursday, 25 July 2013 18:57:44 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
online insurance car Phoenix =-PP cheapest car insurance in Texas =PP NJ car insurance anmtqm nj auto insurance quotes 8OO auto insurance :[
Thursday, 25 July 2013 18:57:44 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
quick car insurance quotes TX 595174 car insurance NJ >:-)) public liability insurance tradesman 7001 CA car insurance quotes %-O insurance auto quote >:-O auto insurance 8PPP
Thursday, 25 July 2013 18:57:47 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
animation degree programs 598990 car insurance quotes Memphis yyepy buy viagra fbmk cheap auto insurance for low income Florida 2021 free online car insurance quote 2468 Auto Insurance qoutes trpxxh
Saturday, 27 July 2013 14:43:53 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
best prices cialis ryrd free quotes car insurance byzdyp cheap car insurance gfakh boards keyword levitra qoclick %PPP top 10 cheapest car insurance for teen dsxzy
Tuesday, 30 July 2013 05:29:26 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
viagra no perscrition >:-D viagra online xbonm buy viagra with master card wsuju medical evaluation of accutane pnisdd discount cialis %-OOO
Thursday, 01 August 2013 22:40:19 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
car insurance cheap Memphis 4720 insurance quotes fast auto 26813 auto insurance quotes qff get cheap car insurance 7670 insurance car info 292965 cheap car insurance right now myjwr
Friday, 02 August 2013 15:56:47 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
ny vs nj car insurance xlzz Indiana car insurance in florida ndwxui Louisiana cheap auto insurance 734302 cialis 1197 stae farm insurance zjtu TX cheapest auto insurance online ivdvvu
Sunday, 04 August 2013 10:44:07 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
AZ ill car insurance fgfnx online auto insurance quotes New York >:( lowest car insurance lwnm TX car insurence quotes nj >:-P what are the cheapest car insurance :-O
Friday, 09 August 2013 05:39:48 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
where can i buy viagara 2259 buy tadalafil 037687 viagra cheap =-] accutane lawyers headland 56999 buy genaric viagra 50887
Sunday, 11 August 2013 19:55:24 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
online colleges %-]] Louisiana auto insurance companies review sqnfv autinsurance >:-[[ cheap car insurance in the usa shsrq cheap car insurance 9773 Farm and auto insurance companies >:)))
Tuesday, 13 August 2013 11:14:06 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
need car insurance 93222 best buy viagra zucy accutane >:)) hypertension impotence txcse buy cialis online =( viagra alternatives 15261
Thursday, 15 August 2013 19:15:59 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
CIALIS NO SIGN ORDER ONLINE 2435 lowest cost tadalafil gbuo viagra sales 74178 cialis buy online 50690 Combined Life Insuracne tnuwa pfizer viagra online without prescription 991253
Friday, 16 August 2013 17:28:11 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
VIAGARA 052585 cheap generic cialis online 8-PPP ciallis for sale =(( by predisone on line pwh
Thursday, 22 August 2013 13:38:50 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
life insurance quotes with no physical eycznc insurance cars used 250365 cheap auto insurance for good drivers lcollg car insurance quotes :-[[[ viagra order online wffrd precision auto insurance vxlk
Comments are closed.