From: Gregg Reynolds (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Sep 06 2005 - 23:24:42 CDT
attached mail follows:
John Hudson wrote:
> Anto'nio Martins-Tuva'lkin wrote:
>> OTOH, it could be said that, following _ad absurdum_ John's argument
>> "grammaticality", all punctuation is "expressive typography" -- as
>> well as
>> case-titling, hyphenation and all things noy conveyed in spoken language.
> I disagree. The comma, for instance, is not 'expressive typography': it
> separates clauses and so relates directly to the nuts and bolts of a
> basic linguistic activity, sentence construction. This is my basic
> criterion for determining whether a sign is a punctuation mark or
> something else. Other typographical conventions may be navigational,
> articulatory or expressive, all of which are good and important
> purposes. But I don't consider them all punctuation marks
Punctuation marks have never been "grammatical". I don't even know what
"relates directly to the nuts and bolts of a basic linguistic activity"
means. Sentence? What is that, pray tell? Ok, I'll tell: it is a
rhetorical category invented by classical rhetoricians that has very
little to do with what is commonly understood by the term "linguistic"
in the modern world. Ditto for comma, colon, etc. - they all refer to
the pragmatics of enunciation for rhetorical purposes, and have nothing
to do with grammar. All punctuation marks are in fact expressive
typography in this sense. They tell us how the written text was spoken,
or is intended to be spoken.
This, is: obviousandalsoisconnected! To wordspacing. To? With?! Huh?!*
*pay: nomind to: theman be;hind the curtain!
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