punctuation words

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punctuation words

Post by pokoma » Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:56 am

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: I remember only the last line for sure.

Something about putting : the fire
Be sure to...
If the B .
Don't...
You'd be an * it.
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Re: punctuation words

Post by Bobinwales » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:13 am

Is THIS an use to your problem?
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Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: punctuation words

Post by pokoma » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:25 am

Huh?
No.
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Re: punctuation words

Post by tony h » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:40 pm

Bobinwales wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:13 am
Is THIS an use to your problem?
Bob you are far too clever URLer. Here it is, from Bob's link, in the unexpurgated form:


Apparently this word puzzle used to hang in a New Hampshire lodge near a fireplace. And the words form a very important series of instructions. Here’s the puzzle.

If the B MT put more :
If the B . putting :
Never put more : over a - der
You'd be an * it



WARNING: ANSWER IS NEXT!



If the BMT put more :
If the grate be empty (“if the ‘Great B’ MT”), put more coal on (“put more colon”)

If the B . putting :
If the grate be full, stop (“if the ‘Great B’ ‘full-stop’) putting coal on (“colon”)

Never put more : over a – der
Never put more coal on (“colon”) over a high fender (over a “hyphen”-der)

You’d be an * it
You’d be an ass to risk (“asterisk”) it.
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Signature: tony

I'm puzzled therefore I think.

Re: punctuation words

Post by pokoma » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:21 pm

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 actually worked in technical fields. He built a plane but unfortunately crashed in it. He continued teaching--his students went to the hospital.

So it's New Englander, not British. I'da never thunk it.

Thanx, Bob and Tony!
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Re: punctuation words

Post by trolley » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:28 am

"So it's New Englander, not British. I'da never thunk it."

That's curious. I've never heard an American use "full stop" for "period". I've never heard either (New-Englander or Old-Englander) use "great" for "capital" or "upper case".
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Re: punctuation words

Post by tony h » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:36 pm

pokoma wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:21 pm
So it's New Englander, not British. I'da never thunk it.

Hmmm. Just because it was found in New England doesn't make it New Englandish! The Spanish quotation in my neighbours kitchen doesn't make next-door Spain.
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Signature: tony

I'm puzzled therefore I think.

Re: punctuation words

Post by pokoma » Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:00 pm

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 and the world. I learned a lot of Spanish vocabulary but not grammar as I was growing up in Los Angeles in the '50s and '60s.
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Re: punctuation words

Post by pokoma » Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:35 pm

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 now. The Chieftains, who have performed with James Galway, and others have a CD entitled "Another Country" that has Irish and American cognates, shall we say. "Streets of Laredo" is "The Bard of Armagh." Some Irish fiddle tunes became backwoods American.
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