Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Wherein the Blog-mistress posits a grammar question and bores her readers

Maybe you can clear something up for me. All through my brief stint in Academia, I was taught that when incorporating a quotation into a longer sentence, one is meant to put the necessary punctuation inside the quotation marks, so long as it doesn't change the essential meaning intended by the original speaker/writer. For example, try this sentence:

Roosevelt's aphorism, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," marks him as a forerunner of the New Age Movement.

You might consider that statement absurd, funny, or even annoying, but you cannot deny that the presence of the comma does nothing to adulterate the meaning of his words, though my editorializing might. Were I to insert a question mark before the end-quotes we would have a problem, and you might think FDR a big sissy-man.

Maybe that is why people are having some sort of aversion, because nowadays, I see sentences like this happening:

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself", would not have been punctuated thusly in FDR's time.

Was there a conference on this? I don't remember signing any petition... Did we vote on it? I don't see the need for it, and it just looks messy.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Because really, there are no guarantees

Which is why I feel these two belong together:

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Your Moment of Zen

I don't even know what to say, this is so amazing.