Search found 35 matches

by pokoma
Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:35 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: punctuation words
Replies: 8
Views: 2388

Re: punctuation words

Have you ever seen the Robert MacNeil TV series The Story of English or read its companion book? Fascinating how he interweaves history and cultures in the development of the language. I was a big fan of American country music in my youth and didn't realize how it's a child of Celtic, my favorite no...
by pokoma
Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:00 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: punctuation words
Replies: 8
Views: 2388

Re: punctuation words

I talked to my friend who has lived in England and visits her sister there often. She said "full stop" is common but has never heard "great" for "capital." I've heard there are many Britishisms alive and well in New England just as there are cultural and linguistic remnants in other parts of the US ...
by pokoma
Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:21 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: punctuation words
Replies: 8
Views: 2388

Re: punctuation words

That's it! The prof was John S. Harris, the inventor of methods of teaching teachers of technical writing. He was so famous in the TW field that he required no introduction in his later articles. He was a perfect example of teaching what you know. Altho his academic training was in English, he actua...
by pokoma
Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:25 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: punctuation words
Replies: 8
Views: 2388

Re: punctuation words

Huh?
No.
by pokoma
Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:56 am
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: punctuation words
Replies: 8
Views: 2388

punctuation words

I learned a clever ditty -- in a technical editing class, no less -- that uses punctuation marks for words, but I can't remember all of it. Can anyone help me out? It's British, so some translation to American may be needed. A capital (letter) is called great. A period is a full stop. Spoiler alert:...
by pokoma
Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:34 pm
Forum: Oh, and have you read...?
Topic: The Professor and the Madman
Replies: 3
Views: 6395

The Professor and the Madman

I just finished reading The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester about the birth of the OED. Interesting that it began with the ground-breaking concept "How does one look something up?" Also interesting is the delicious anachronism "How much faster (instead of a generation of researchers rea...
by pokoma
Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:21 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: comma before quotation
Replies: 10
Views: 3327

Re: comma before quotation

Thanks for the discussion.
: )
by pokoma
Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:04 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: comma before quotation
Replies: 10
Views: 3327

Re: comma before quotation

Erik: 2) "My uncle 'Spud' was born in Idaho...." = lowercase title after a possessive pronoun Sorry it's taken me so long to reply. That rule just bothered me. I checked several grammar books but found it only in Chicago Manual of Style , which doesn't specify the type of pronoun. I don't see the pu...
by pokoma
Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:10 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: comma before quotation
Replies: 10
Views: 3327

Re: comma before quotation

OK, I won't wage a campaign. Yet. It seems to me the old rule on using a comma to show a pause or short breath was that it should be seldom . Were I still teaching in college, I would point out--yet another--exception to a rule of English. A persistent common error is thinking anything before an ope...
by pokoma
Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:56 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: comma before quotation
Replies: 10
Views: 3327

comma before quotation

Standard sentence order is subject verb object (SVO), e.g., "He said nothing." No comma between the verb and the object, right? So what is the basis for putting a comma before a quotation that functions as the (direct) object? "He said, 'Nothing.'" How about a movement to eliminate it in the way log...
by pokoma
Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:47 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Notary Sojac
Replies: 5
Views: 6184

Re: Notary Sojac

Wikipedia on Smokey Stover: Jocular jargon and peculiar phrases 1946 strip as reprinted in issue 64 of the Smokey Stover comic book.Odd bits of philosophy and a running gag involving ubiquitous signs with strange, incongruous nonsense words and phrases—such as "foo", "notary sojac", "scram gravy ain...
by pokoma
Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:33 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Notary Sojac
Replies: 5
Views: 6184

Re: Notary Sojac

I wonder, if the comic strip were running today, if the anti-religion/anti-Christian crowd would kick up a fuss.
by pokoma
Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:32 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Notary Sojac
Replies: 5
Views: 6184

Notary Sojac

"Notary Sojac." Anyone old enough to remember the Smokey Stover comic strip (1950s and thereabouts) saw this tucked in a corner of most or all episodes. Supposedly it means "Merry Christmas" in some Celtic language, approximated for English pronunciation. Can anyone confirm this?
by pokoma
Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:51 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: counting coups
Replies: 9
Views: 3490

Re: counting coups

Ken, Thanx for the extra insights, particularly: 1. "COUP STICKS quotes [[Thus marking the beginnings of the field of acoustics. (>;)]]" It took me a while to figure out your emoticon (the double brackets got in the way). Must be my Brit ancestry -- the tendency to hear/read too literally while ofte...
by pokoma
Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:03 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: counting coups
Replies: 9
Views: 3490

Re: counting coups

Most interesting! I'll send a link to the radio host to see if he knew the background of the term. How often do we use an expression without fully understanding its meaning? And that's not counting spoonerisms, malapropisms, mixed metaphors, plain old usage errors, etc. that a person of adequate edu...