Friday, May 15, 2009

Concept: Just give me a little space, okay?

Check out my nerdy essay on punctuation, spacing, and text-justification at bookish us.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm. I've been trying to convince a room full of composition students of the logical sovereignty of the sentence at the same time that I've encouraged them to abandon the second space as a typographical archaism. Whatever they have discovered, I've found that the aesthetic preferences cultivated in middle-school are uterly intractable, for better or worse.


3:23 AM  
Anonymous Connor said...

I don't know. I hated the five-paragraph essay so much that I've consciously avoided it ever since. Maybe the decisive issue is whether students think of language as a flexible tool, and that their choices have consequence.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Intuitively, I agree with the concept of the discrete sentence, visually separated with double spaces from previous and following sentences. It’s what I learned through sixteen years of schooling.

On reflection, however, may this not be a fractal iteration of the discreteness, or lack thereof between individual words; i.e. the individual integrity of words in German as opposed to the intimate melding of words in the Celtic languages? Perhaps there’s room for variation. What better represents our universe (and our minds) – a linear chain of discrete items – or an intricately integrated web of associations? Do we exist as discrete particles of matter – or as a unified wavefront of interdependent forms?

Maybe as we integrate fuzzy logic into our computer’s artificial intelligence programs we should introduce fuzzy sentences into our language and thinking.

Ultimately, any variation should be powered by writers and readers rather than publishers and editors.


4:53 PM  
Anonymous Sumara said...

Sure is nerdy! lol. It's not something I've ever thought about, actually. But I do like your reasoning.

1:53 AM  

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