It is good to see that someone else cares about punctuation.
On 03/01/2008, at 9:20 PM, Penny Brockman wrote:
Carl and Shane
I agree on the whole with Carl and would like to add one other
important point - clear communication. It is much easier to read an
email that has sentences beginning with capital letters, paragraphs
to break up a block of typing, and commas and fullstops - one can
manage without semi-colons although I do rather like to use them
every now and again so that they get a bit of an airing!
Happy New Year to all
I do admit it was a bit of a cheap shot at the media, but then the
temptation is often too great to resist when they set them self up.
The style your news paper re. bird names has adopted is
interesting, but to me it sets the stage for a deal of confusion.
For example is a black-and white tody-tyrant a tody-tyrant that is
coloured black and white or does it refer to the bird species
Poecilotricus capitalis, is a Fiordland penguin any penguin found
in Fiordland, New Zealand or does it refer to Eudyptes
pachyrhynchus, is macaroni penguin a pasta dish or species of
penguin and is a limpkin relative that has fainted?. I could go on
but posts are supposed to be limited to 250 words.
What I am on about is that Proper Nouns should be capitalised and
bird common names are proper nouns. If you are going to come up
with your own way of using Proper Nouns at least be consistent and
use the style for all, e.g. prime minister, great Dane, john smith
and so on.
I sympathise with your Father re. txt, but he should be prepared
to accept it. There are a growing number of High Schools in the
United Sewers of America which now accept work from students
written in txt, on the grounds that it is the "Democratic Right" of
a student to use the language structure they wish.
On the subject of email being an informal method of communication
and so you do not have to worry too much about punctuation, etc.,
remember, any email you write could end up in Court. Having been on
the receiving end of a Barrister going at my emails like a
Rottweiler with a baby, construing all kinds of meanings because of
sloppy punctuation, I can tell you it is not a pleasant experience.
As to why Quail, Albatross etc. for plurals? I do not know, but it
is probably a similar reason to why people do not capitalise the
common names of birds:)
All the best for the New Year and good bording
On 02/01/2008, at 8:47 PM, wrote:
the house style at the newspaper i work for is not to capitalise
animal names except where derived form people or places, so Gould's
petrel for instance would stay up.
re your earlier assertion that the breakdown in punctuation and
grammar "probably has originated in the media as a cost saving
exercise, as it saves on ink ..." you may have been being facetious
but i think you'll find it originated in informal forms of
communication such as this and txt messages. there is no doubt it
is encroaching elsewhere. my father, who is a university lecturer,
is occasionally horrified to mark essays and assignments from
students written in txt! (they fail.)
as a member of the much maligned print media, most of us do our
level best to uphold the rules of grammar and punctuation and stem
the tide of americanisms. the latter is a losing battle and one
that has been going on in english (australian and the queen's) much
longer than many realise.
re this topic, a more pertinent question is: why do many birders
refer to birds in the singular: ie i saw 10 quail, 5 albatross etc?
there seems to be no rhyme or reason for it. they're not sheep, or
happy new year
To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)