[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [groff] 02/11: doc/groff.texi: Fix style nits.

From: Dave Kemper
Subject: Re: [groff] 02/11: doc/groff.texi: Fix style nits.
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2021 10:33:16 -0500

(This is, strictly speaking, off topic as it's only about writing
style and unrelated to groff or even typesetting.)

On 8/16/21, Damian McGuckin <> wrote:
> The British writing style leans more to text readability
> and writing convenience by using relatively fewer punctuation marks.

Writing convenience, sure, but I wouldn't characterize minimizing
puctuation as increasing readability -- the logical conclusion of that
is that the most readable paragraph is one that dispenses with all
punctuation.  Sure, some punctuation marks are discretionary,
especially commas and hyphens, but most are important signposts for
parsing text, and you downsize them away at the risk of ambiguity or
outright change of meaning.  (The classic example is the drastic
change in meaning when one omits the comma from the sentence "Let's
eat, grandma."  This direct-address comma is on the wane in modern
books from even reputable American publishers, a disturbing trend that
can only presage a rise in cannibalism.)

And the Brits may try to minimize their commas, but they sure do love
their hyphens: the OED hyphenates numerous words that American
dictionaries tend to close up: arrow-head, barrel-house, co-author,
finger-breadth, fish-hook, kick-off, level-headed, mid-afternoon,
non-fiction, stand-alone, take-off, trap-door, water-bed.

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]