Friday, March 30

Gettin Wordie wid'it (and more)

+ Found a cool, new social networking philologist site the other day and commented 26 times. Puts me in the top 10 commenters for this week. Anyway, it's called Wordie. I'm going to add my Wordie page under my picture. Fun!

+ And, from Wordie comes Ninjawords. 'A really fast dictionary... fast like a ninja.'

+ Probably the most prescriptively proper way to do an internet dash is ' -- ', ie space hyphen hyphen space. For my part, I think ' - ', space hyphen space, does the job. It's distinct enough from just a plain hyphen with no spaces. What do you think?

(Most likely answer: Nobody thinks about this stuff but me ;-)

+ Similarly, the most prescriptively proper way to write an ellipsis is ' . . . ', space period space period space period space. That seems like overkill to me. Even better would probably be the html code for an ellipsis, '&hellip', which produces … .

Note the most proper end of a sentence with an ellipsis: … .

Contrast that with typical ellipses ... and my own ellipses at the end of a sentence with no spaces and no extra period...

Seems like overkill to me. Look at the html. I've got some real, html special character ellipses in there. Is it worth it? Not in my judgment.

We professional writers think about this stuff ;-)

+ Of course, subsequently, it occurs to me that we can compare standard internet dashes ' -- ' with an html em dash, coded '&mdash': —

Pretty, yes. Worth it?

Don't even get me started on the almost non-existent difference between em dashes and en dashes ;-)


j streed said...

re: ellipses--I like the "space period space period space period space" standard better, possibly because Dr Thomas Remington once made a fellow student cry when she didn't get it right in her paper after he had answered that question in class the week before. Some experiences shape a 19 year-olds punctuation aesthetic more than others.

And I like the extra period as described in the Chicago Manual of Style.

People around my office are always adding a period when I abbreviate words like "doctor" without one. If pressed, I'd have to admit that I have no reason for doing it that way that is consistent with my practice in other situations. I just like it that way.

Sean said...

hooray for professors who make punctuation peasants cry! ;-)

yeah, it's mostly about preference, isn't it? i generally like less punctuation, but sometimes i like more ;-)