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Ray, I do recall the long list of examples you copied from the Century Dictionary. Mostly, ibids, if I recall ... did these leaders of US style in writing follow? And when(at what stage of your schooling) did you learn the

I have to ask why we should be in the slightest interested in the informal usage of these writers. If they had strong opinions about punctuation, I would have expected them either to have insisted that their own style be followed when their works were published (as I believe Bernard Shaw, for one, did), and/or they would have written articles about the sort of punctuation they recommended. But even the most extraordinary of writers are, in the vast majority of cases, going adhere to the standard punctuation and spelling practices of their time and place.
rules that you claim to be standards? How closely do you hew to the standards in your informal writing?

I'm sure I learned the American style very long ago. I was introduced to the comma inside the closing quotation marks in the * and Jane* primers, as in the example shown at
http://www.texaschapbookpress.com/magellanslog53/dickandjane/dandjandmidi07.htm
(quote)
"One, two, three," said Jane.
(end quote)
As another poster pointed out, however, this particular treatment of the comma would be standard in British English as well. The usage we have been discussing, in which a comma might precede the closing quotation mark of a book chapter title, for example, would likely not have shown up during the first year or two of school studies, but I have no doubt that the British practice was never taught to us as something to emulate, any more than were British spellings such as "favourite."
Also, our teachers in grade school would not have given any thought to teaching us how to write informal English. Such English is very common in published writing today, but it was less common back then. Newspaper columnists at that time, for example, in contrast to today, would have tended to write in a rather formal style. And when we were writing informal English, when representing dialogue in stories written in high school, for example, we would still have adhered to the American style of punctuation.

As for what style I adhere to in my own informal writing, you can see it yourself by going to Google Groups archive at www.deja.com and doing a search for "mplsray". (Note the punctuation there, which was a quite deliberate deviation from the standard American practice.) I generally try to write in informal Standard American English. I adhere to the standard American punctuation practice even though, when using QuoteFix with Outlook Express, it means that a sentence such as
This is an example of boldface type: *Boldface type.*

will not appear in boldface type, because the interior period means that the phrase will not appear in boldface, whereas it would if I were to write:

This is an example of boldface type: Boldface type.

Also note that I am very aware of my punctuation practices because, as I pointed out in a previous post, I alter the practice when writing in French or Esperanto.
I don't feel I was badly served by my teachers in grade school or in high school.

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
*Do You Speak American?*

I put in the "?" for you. :-) I was most impressed with the recordings of black English from about ... little dishonest). They spoke better English than the Dean of American- American Affairs at UVA does. Sad, so sad. GFH

That was an interesting segment. The point of it, which I would expect remains controversial, was to show that AAVE diverged most from other dialects of American English when blacks moved outside the Southern states during and after World War II and became isolated in city ghettoes, compared to the situation which had existed in the South.
I was very pleased with *Do You Speak American?* Many things we have discussed in these newsgroups were mentioned. The treatment of African American Vernacular English was very good. The program illustrated what I have previously discussed about teaching black children Standard American English while at the same time respecting their mother dialect. Children were shown being taught to code-switch from AAVE (which in that particular experimental program, "Academic English Mastery," was called "African American language" or "AAL") to Standard American English (which was referred to in that program as "mainstream American English). This may well be the only time that the average American or the average American who watches PBS, in any case has seen code-switching being taught. Heck, it's the first time I've seen it, I think, although I've read about it often enough.
Even the US Federal Court case King v. Ann Arbor was mentioned, as was the fact that the Oakland School Board was trying to achieve essentially the same thing as was accomplished in that case. However, it was not actually stated what programs were put into place after the case was won. (The "Academic English Mastery" program was filmed in another part of the country.)

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
I do have my standards, and I know that I ... rules did these leaders of US style in writing follow?

I have to ask why we should be in the slightest interested in the informal usage of these writers.

I suppose I think that vocabulary and usage standards, if they mean anything at all, are based on the respected users of the language. From that, I extrapolate that the standards for making oneself understood in the written form are likewise based on the respected users.
If they had strong opinions about punctuation, I would have expected them either to have insisted that their own style ... I believe Bernard Shaw, for one, did), and/or they would have written articles about the sort of punctuation they recommended.

And I expect that the creative urge among writers, for the most part, eschews the petty details of trying to teach and enforce the rules the writers might impose upon themselves.
If Shaw felt he needed to insist his work be left untouched, then such details, to him, were integral parts of his oeuvre. I understand that many writers today, unsung heroes, struggle to avoid the chopping and hacking that editors and publishers impose upon their works. I wonder how many of them insist to the point that the editor or publisher inserts the "sic", or adds a footnote denying responsibility for problems the reader might encounter. And thinking in terms of "cutting", one of the prizes of top directors is the right to the final (director's) cut in film-making.

Of course, many of us consider the entire matter of the placement of commas and periods with regard to quotation marks not really of great import in our desire to communicate in writing. I wonder if anyone ever thought of calling Shaw a control freak. And I suppose the reference to "anal" would not have been understood in his day.
But even the most extraordinary of writers
are, in the vast majority of cases, going adhere to the standardpunctuation and spelling practices of their time and place.

As above. . .the issue is probably not considered of any great import in terms of communication, and easy to ignore or go along with the editors, in the interest of getting their money sooner. But we don't see their informal writing, so who is to be the judge? My understanding is that many of them are horrible grammaticians and spellers, so why would I assume their punctuation patterns to be any more disciplined?
I'm sure I learned the American style very long ago. I was introduced tothe comma inside the closing quotation marks in the * and Jane* primers,as in the example shown at

http://www.texaschapbookpress.com/magellanslog53/dickandjane/dandjandmidi07.htm
(quote) "One, two, three," said Jane. (end quote)

Again, done for publication. But in my practice, I would punctuate that example in the same way as you (or the book) did. The comma within the quotes honors the complete statement as a thought. I didn't have the primer as my writing exercise book, however (and I don't recall my teachers stopping my reading to point out the punctuation). When I was reading and learning to write at that level, the formation of individual letters was much more important than the marks placed before and after the words.
Actually, writing with number 2 pencils meant that my sweaty little hands smeared my work and made it very unsightly, which seemed to matter much more to the teachers. Oh, and let's not speak of the bent nibs and backward stutter-strokes when using the pen to spatter ink and make blots all over the paper. I can't recall when I began learning punctuation. I think it was probably about the level of fourth grade but that wouldn't have involved strict discipline about the placing of punctuation in dialog.
As another poster pointed out, however, this particular treatment of the comma would be standard in British English as well. ... the British practice was never taught to us as something to emulate, any more thanwere British spellings such as "favourite."

I don't use that spelling, but I do find myself writing "behaviour" quite often. I note that a number of others also use the "British spelling" of the "ou" in place of the "o", and other variations from the "mother tongue". I suspect we weren't disciplined enough. It wasn't the kind of error that brought out the ruler-on-the-palm.
Also, our teachers in grade school would not have given any thought to teaching us how to write informal English. ... dialogue in stories written in high school, for example, we would still have adhered to the American style of punctuation.

It would have all depended on the styles our teachers were educated in. And I would warrant that very few of them were raised to use what is now identified as the American style. Regardless of the age and respect that may now be accorded The Century Dictionary, I think that its use as a primer for writing and publishing styles was not that of a final authority. I can't recall a single instance in which my free composition exercises involved dialog, and can't recall the workbook exercises (in high school) in which punctuation was drilled in which I didn't "ace" the exercises. (Note: do you qualify your spelling of "dialogue" as British, or "mannered"? How about catalog(ue)? Not in the same class as favo(u)rite?)

But these are just opinions. Many of my teachers may have been taught by furriners, you know. How about yours? How, when and where would your teachers have been educated? I was in grades four through eight from 1946 through 1950. My teachers, for the most part, would have been educated pre-war, and some of them in convents. Probably some of those teachers had two years or less of college-level training.
As for what style I adhere to in my own informal writing, you can see it yourself by going to ... punctuation practices because, as I pointed out in a previous post, I alter the practice when writing inFrench or Esperanto.

Of course, Ray. But those are your particular games and challenges to yourself. Are you a teacher of the respective styles? Do you teach composition for publication in US English? At what level?

Then I would expect that those particular standards, being part of the tools of your trade, would be very important to you. But I wouldn't expect you to try to teach your art to the mass participants in AUE without your explaining where you are coming from.

Pat
durkinpa at msn.com
Wisconsin
PBS has been drifting towards the right in recent years, ... corporations, however private they are in a technical, legal sense.

The US Postal Service is not a private corporation, nor is it a corporation at all in the usual sense. ... in both cases the cultural abhorrence of socialism is what leads to the weird structuring and characterizations of these entities.

I agree. I look at our city bus services, which have been 'privatised' - the 'private' companies run the service and, I think, maintain the buses, but the State government buys them new buses when necessary. Same with our 'privatised' telephone companies - the lines and a lot of equipment are still provided by Telstra, which the federal government owns 51% of. They want to sell it in keeping with their anti-socialist policy, but I want to know who is going to erect and maintain the phone lines. Almost certainly, non-profitable country areas will suffer.

Rob Bannister
punctuation they recommended. But even the most extraordinary of writers are, in the vast majority of cases, going adhere to the standard punctuation and spelling practices of their time and place.

Would they not, in fact, be edited by the publisher so that the spelling and punctuation conformed to the publisher's ideas? I believe there have been and still are publishers who have very idiosyncratic ideas. The writer may write what he or she wishes, but the work will be edited before publication.
I have mentioned before how in all the Isaac Asimov works I possess, that were published prior to about 1970, the preterite of 'fit' is printed 'fitted'. On closer inspection, I note these are British publications, so that the printed word does not necessarily reflect what the author actually wrote.

Rob Bannister
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
punctuation they recommended. But even the most extraordinary of writers ... standard punctuation and spelling practices of their time and place.

Would they not, in fact, be edited by the publisher so that the spelling and punctuation conformed to the publisher's ... I note these are British publications, so that the printed word does not necessarily reflect what the author actually wrote.

You are correct. Unless the author had very strong opinions about going against standard practice, and unless he also had the clout to have the publisher follow his (the author's) practice, a published work will reflect the publisher's standards. So let me restate: "Even the most extraordinary of publishers are, in the vast majority of cases, going to adhere to the standard punctuation and spelling practices of their time and place."

An example of such idiosyncratic practice was the simplified spelling which appeared in the Chicago Tribune many years ago, before the publisher (or perhaps the editor) finally said to heck with it and returned to standard American spelling.

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
I'm sure I learned the American style very long ago. ... * and Jane* primers, as in the example shown at

http://www.texaschapbookpress.com/magellanslog53/dickandjane/dandjandmidi07.htm

As far as I can see, what you have written above constitutes a gratuitous insult.I thought you wanted a personal history of how I came to use standard American practice, and I tried to give you that as well as I could with the materials at hand. Instead, you wanted proof from me that the practice I advocate is* the standard American practice. Since that is the case, it is *your* responsibility to prove that I do *not use standard American practice, *because the burden of proof belongs to the person who makes an extraordinary claim,* and in this case that person is you.

If it were not, the other Americans in these two newsgroups would have been sharply criticizing what I have been writing in this thread. But even Bob Cunningham, who adheres to the British system as far as the relationship between periods or commas and closing question mark is concerned, acknowledges that the system I have been discussing *is* the standard American system.
As for the so-called games* I play, all I intend to do is write text in ASCII which could, in principle, be automatically translated into standard text if anyone wished to do so. I don't *have to do it that way most people in this newsgroup don't (they usually write book titles with no indication of italicization, for example) but my practice is in no way a "game."

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
(much snippage)
}> Then I would expect that those particular standards, being part of }> the tools of your trade, would be very important to you. But I }> wouldn't expect you to try to teach your art to the mass participants }> in AUE without your explaining where you are coming from. }
}
} As far as I can see, what you have written above constitutes a gratuitous } insult.
...
I tell you, I tended to drift off there, though I did perk up a little when Bob Cunningham was mentioned, because I've been following his work for so long. I did get to wondering if Pat Durkin was the Pat Durkin of Durkin & Durkin in Waukegan. I didn't see where Minneapolis Ray addressed that important question. But I digress.

R. J. Valentine
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
(much snippage) }> Then I would expect that those particular standards, being part of }> the tools of your trade, ... Durkin of Durkin & Durkin in Waukegan. I didn't see where Minneapolis Ray addressed that important question. But I digress.

My goodness there are a lot of us Durkins around. Not that I am related to any any more. Well, a brother in Twin Cities and a cousin outside Detroit. None of us with male offspring to carry on the name.
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