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Re: ellipsis

Grant wrote:

> At 07:43 AM 12/9/98 -0800, Thomas Regner wrote:
> >And so the battle rages.  Some say that the only reason the U.S.
> >adopted the "closed punctuation" method (your terminology) is
> >because we in the U.S., having won the war, had therefore won
> >the right to modify the language -- a decision which may have
> >been borne of a desire to add insult to injury.  Pure speculation...
> Actually, it was bcause of the early portable (by the standards of
> the time) presses.  the space on a composing stick taken up by a
> comma or period was much less than that of a quotation mark.
> Therefore, to avoid having the periods and commas fall off the end of
> the stick, printers would put the quotation mark after the
> punctuation.  This eventually came to be considered acceptable, and
> then "correct" style.

Thank you for this bit of esoteria, Grant.  Not only is your erudition
appreciated, it lends fodder to those like Carolyn who feel strongly
about the illogical nature of having non-quoted punctuation
reside inside the quotation marks.  The U.S. style was created out
of expediency, then, and not out of any academic quest to make
the written language better.

For work, I use whichever style is dictated by the existing style
guide.  In personal writing, I prefer the U.S. method simply because
I am used to it and therefore think it "looks better" (an illogical
conclusion, to be sure, and one for which I offer no apology).

Filed under "Small Stuff, Sweat Not."  (or "... Sweat Not".)


-- Tom

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