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on 04 Nov 2003:
In my opinion, there is a decided difference between the two.

That is easy to see. Your question is not a question but a challenge.
and the greater is that you assume the truth of what you want to demonstrate with this structure.

Then I must have chosen exactly the right words, because I did assume that I wanted to demonstrate was true.

Question-begging, is it not?
I was not consulting Matti for his judgement or opinion,

If you weren't asking for an opinion (judgment), then why the question mark?
I was trying to show him something

But you demonstrated nothing; you merely trotted out a couple of sentences as assumed that one need a comma and that one did not. You did not explain the difference and did not include the possibility that the second sentence might be readable in ways that eliminated the necessity of adding a comma, as I and someone else pointed out.
and find out whether he saw it the same way. "You do see this, right?" says that.

That was, perhaps, your intention, but the reality of the sentence and the context is "You do agree with me, don't you". This is not interrogative as much as it is coercive.
This needs no comma. This may or may not need ... moment". Not necessarily. Where is the stress in this sentence?

I'm saying it various ways here and I can't come up with any that means anything at all unless there is a comma.

Well, there's the problem. Your perception is limited by your question begging.
Whether I wanted to say "Finally, at last, at this moment, this thing is good," or "Jeez, think it over, that really is good," it still requires a comma after the "Now."

Try giving primary stress to "Now" and tertiary stress to "that". There is between those two words no pause that requires a comma. If "Now" is merely a meaningless interjection, it requires a comma, but in that case it would not be stressed and there would be a pause between the two words. If "Now" means "this time" or "at this moment", there is no pause between "Now" and "that", and, accordingly, there is no comma between them. There has to be a comma after "This time" or "At this moment", of course.
I gave more examples in a follow-up post, which may be better.

I haven't seen that one yet.
Try giving primary stress to "Now" and tertiary stress to "that". There is between those two words no pause that ... or "at this moment", there is no pause between "Now" and "that", and, accordingly, there is no comma between them.

Hear, hear!

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
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== It was not my intent to be unpleasant, merely blunt, and what I said was the truth. Donna sees ... Maybe I stated my case too bluntly, but I speak the truth, as you should have seen to start with.

This seems to have been caused by total misapprehension. I had moved on entirely from the "Now," discussion, which was why I snipped it all. My own comment on how Donna's applied to "noone" was meant to stand alone.

What's a bit strange is that I'd say that, of all the people on this group, your usage and intuition is closest to mine in most cases, modulo the pondial stuff.
Matti
Hey ho
== It was not my intent to be unpleasant, merely ... the truth, as you should have seen to start with.

This seems to have been caused by total misapprehension. I had moved on entirely from the "Now," discussion, which was why I snipped it all. My own comment on how Donna's applied to "noone" was meant to stand alone.

Ah, so it was a misapprehension. That happens.
What's a bit strange is that I'd say that, of all the people on this group, your usage and intuition is closest to mine in most cases, modulo the pondial stuff.

That's what I thought too. OK, that one's done to a turn. Next!

(No, not the "noone" thing. "Noone" is bad, m'kay?)
Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
OK, that one's done to a turn. Next! (No, not the "noone" thing. "Noone" is bad, m'kay?)

See? Completely incorrugatable.
Matti
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Try giving primary stress to "Now" and tertiary stress to ... and "that", and, accordingly, there is no comma between them.

Hear, hear!

Well, almost, and this is where I came in. You can't totally go on whether you hear a pause or not. That would be the elocutionary method. It really depends more on the grammatical function in the sentence even if people say the words quickly without much of a break.

There are times "now that" functions as an indivisible unit, and clearly that one takes no comma. But there are times that "Now, that..." happens to be said quite quickly and you'd never hear a break, and yet, still, properly, the comma should be put in there in writing.

As should lots of other commas that don't get put into writing, like "Hey Bob..."
And it's not determined by stress, either the stress results from the grammar.
I've put these examples elsewhere, but just to be clear what I'm talking about:
Now that the election is over, we...
(indivisible, no comma)
Now, that's something I really hate.
(introductory, comma)
If you want to talk about stress, I would expect even stress on each word of the first "Now that" and a heavy stress on "that's" in the second.
However, foreign learners of English, for example, wouldn't know that. But they can learn to spot the diference between a complete sentence and a clause.

Best Donna Richoux
on 04 Nov 2003:

Not at all. Don't you believe that stuff is true, before you say it? I hope so.
I wasn't trying to prove* a thing was true *that's when "question-begging" comes into play. I was merely to explain how I saw the matter, and to find out what common ground I had with Matti. Demonstrate in the sense of show, teach, display, explain.

If I had said, "You do understand the difference between greenish-blue and bluish-green, don't you?" and the proceeded to illustrate and discuss the difference, would I be hearing these accusations of challenges and question-begging?
But naturally, as you saw, there are assumptions behind such a statement. Namely:

1) that there is a significant difference between the two colors, and
2) the strong probability that the listener already knows and agrees.

Nothing wrong or even mysterious about that.
I'll go back to "Now that" in a different post.

Best Donna Richoux
I've put these examples elsewhere, but just to be clear what I'm talking about: Now that the election is ... even stress on each word of the first "Now that" and a heavy stress on "that's" in the second.

This is all good stuff with which I thoroughly agree. Now, consider this one:
Now that's something I really hate.
I would say that the explicit stressing obviates the need for the comma. We *do* agree on this, don't we?
Matti
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I've put these examples elsewhere, but just to be ... and a heavy stress on "that's" in the second.

This is all good stuff with which I thoroughly agree. Now, consider this one: Now that's* something I really hate. I would say that the explicit stressing obviates the need for the comma. We *do agree on this, don't we?

Do you mean, the fact that there are asterisks around the word? I do see a certain conflict between asterisks and other punctuation. (That may have been the subject of my very first post to a.u.e.)

Best Donna Richoux
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