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There's nothing irrational or illogical about inconsistency or complexity.

Did someone say there was?

I've probably said (several times) that inconsistency is sometimes irrational or illogical. Are you implying that it never is?

Matti
Did someone say there was?

I've probably said (several times) that inconsistency is sometimes irrational or illogical. Are you implying that it never is?

Lessee what did I mean? Well, I guess I could have meant that, with particular reference to punctuation conventions, inconsistency or complexity may be due more to unthinking arbitrariness than to irrationality or illogicality.

A lot depends upon whether "irrationality" and
"illogicality" are to be thought of as referring to motive or to result.
But, actually, I made no assertion, and with a good lawyer I should be able to satisfy any court in the land maybe even on the sea that I implied nothing, but merely asked a question.
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I don't quite get the rationale for calling this mode ... to be more rational than any competing mode of punctuation.

A reason can be stated for writing "Mr" for "Mister" as opposed to "corp." for "corporation". The only explanation I know of for abbreviating "Mister" "Mr." is "there isn't any reason for it; that's just the way we do it".

The explanation for "Mr." is the same as that for "corp.", and can be stated succinctly as follows: "An abbreviation (other than an initialism or acronym) is ended by a period." This is no more irrational, and indeed more succinct, than a rule "An abbreviation (other than an initialism or acronym) is ended by a period in the even that it does not end with the last letter of the full word."
Someone might want to say that the period is just a flag to indicate that somewhere not necessarily immediately ... abbreviation "phone." for "telephone" or "cab." for "taxicab". They would make about as much sense as writing "Mr." for "Mister".

Straw man: "phone" and "cab" are not abbreviations; they are words. Or would you write "taxi."?
By the way, it seems it hasn't been a very long time maybe only forty or fifty years since prescriptivists were insisting on "'phone". I wonder if there are still some who do.

Another grad student in the ling. dept. here at Penn writes both "'phone" and "'bus". He's English, but I don't necessarily take that as an explanation.
-Aaron J. Dinkin
Dr. Whom
Someone might want to say that the period is just ... make about as much sense as writing "Mr." for "Mister".

Straw man: "phone" and "cab" are not abbreviations; they are words. Or would you write "taxi."?

By saying "I wonder if anyone ever wrote" I made the statement a historical reference. "Phone" was at one time a shortening of "telephone", so I wondered if at that time anyone would have written "phone." to follow the American rule that an ending period shows that letters have been omitted somewhere in the preceding word. (I know they almost surely did not. It's only to make a point that I posited that they might have.)
Similar remarks can be made about "cab", but the situation is a little more complicated there. It appears that "cab" may have at one time been an abbreviation for "cabriolet" and that "taxicab" was formed with the abbreviation "cab", after which "taxi" was omitted from "taxicab" to produce yet another abbreviation "cab".
A further complication is that the word "taxi" may have originally been an abbreviation of "taximeter". It's amusing to see in The New Shorter Oxford English
Dictionary that they give "taxi" as a colloquial shortening of "taximeter", but they also say a taximeter is something you find in a taxi, where it's used to record distance traveled and fare due:
taximeter /"taksImi:t/ n.L19. (Fr. taximètre, f. taxe tariff, tax + - mètre -METER.) An automatic
device fitted to a taxi, recording the distance
travelled and the fare due.
taxi /"taksi/ n. & v.E20. (Colloq. abbrev. of
TAXIMETER. )
Someone might want to say that the period is just a flag to indicate that somewhere not necessarily immediately ... abbreviation "phone." for "telephone" or "cab." for "taxicab". They would make about as much sense as writing "Mr." for "Mister".

Or Ltd. for limited? (certainly more common here than Mr. for Mister)

And in Spanish "Usted" is often abbreviated "Ud."
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Straw man: "phone" and "cab" are not abbreviations; they are words. Or would you write "taxi."?

By saying "I wonder if anyone ever wrote" I made the statement a historical reference. "Phone" was at one time ... a taxi, recording the distance travelled and the fare due. taxi /"taksi/ n. & v.E20. (Colloq. abbrev. of TAXIMETER. )

I see that in Latvia the term "taksometrs" is still in use (for taxicab). Google scores about 310 hits. (The letter "x" is not in the Latvian alphabet.)

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
I see that in Latvia the term "taksometrs" is still in use (for taxicab).

And the capital of Latvia is "Rieger!". And Latvia must be where Latka was from.
I see that in Latvia the term "taksometrs" is still in use (for taxicab).

And the capital of Latvia is "Rieger!". And Latvia must be where Latka was from.

Naah, Latka's last name was Gravas. The Latvian name would have been Grava. Besides, there are no Latkas in Latvia. Another thing Simka, his bride from the same country, was a (lowly) mountain person. There are no mountains in Latvia. A few hills, maybe.

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
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Naah, Latka's last name was Gravas. The Latvian name would have beenGrava. Besides, there are no Latkas in Latvia. Another thing Simka, his bride from the same country, was a (lowly) mountain person. There are no mountains in Latvia. A few hills, maybe.

But is it really true that bobsledding was invented there?
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