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Smithson Thus Far... ·

Leon Arnott (l) says: What? Not one comment about Helen's triangular smiles, or Mell's ability to pronounce parentheses?
Matt Katinas (nidoking) says: And, upon review, the irony of Mr. Davenport's having been responsible for suggesting this adventure is all the sweeter. His distant, one-fewer-step-removed-from-reality descendant has an important lesson to learn from this.
David Harmon (mental_mouse) says: Hey, pronouncing parentheses is easy, modern Artie can pronounce semicolons!
Daniel Ross (nentuaby) says:

I pronounce parentheses all the time... It just requires a bit of body language. You simply look slightly away from your conversational partner- at the most minimal, simply shift your eyes- and mutter slightly. Mell's technique seems pretty much spot on!

 Semicolons... Now those are harder.

Blake Peterson (blakepeterson) says:

Actually, the written rules of language exist primarily to ape the way that language is spoken; the use of a semicolon to amend a related phrase to an already existing sentence is a part of normal English speech.

Similarly, parenthesese denote a coma like usage (which one may also hear in everyday usage) but indicating that the content within the parenthesese is of lesser importance than other related material in the sentence. If the material is of approximately equal importance a comma is used, and if it is of greater importance then a dash may be used; these are meant to denote not a separate way of communicating--written and spoken language are not separate systems--but to increase specificity in recording the way and stylistic use of language under normal conditions. 

There's a tendency to think that people speak in broken fragments. However, in quite a bit of conversation people are generally constructing complex sentences in which a single thought may take a multitude of different tacks (or related turns) in order to present a unified or evolving idea. Punctuation is simply how we denote the shifts in those thought patterns. 

Randy Goldberg (drgaellon) says: Blake: you've entirely missed the joke...
Chasing Darkness (chasingdarkness) says:


drgaellon: true, but isn't it cool nonetheless? I'd never really given punctuation that much thought, other than trying desperately to use it right...

John Mead (johnbobmead) says:

Perhaps Blake has not missed joke, but has rather added a most Victorian annotation regarding the relationship between Speech and The Recorded Word, adding yet another dimension, edifying yet...

Well, maybe not.  Perhaps, given his phrasing, not Victorian.  He may, indeed, have missed the joke.

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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile