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comma. I prefer comma to the semi-colon in order to keep the flavor of the original: "Errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum".

Wouldn't that mean something like, to persevere is diabolical? I never heard that. Why, yes, the Oxford Dict. of English ... but brutish to persist. Some give only the "err is human" part. Interesting that the "persevere/diabolical/brutish" one disappears after Pope.

Then there is the programmer's saw of yesteryear,
To err is human, but to really screw things up you need a computer
?
On 26 Jan 2005 18:33:52 -0800, "Arcadian Rises"
"To err is human; to be mauled by Spyware is criminal". That is, a semi-colon in place of the first comma and no second

comma. I prefer comma to the semi-colon in order to keep the flavor of the original: "Errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum". I believe many other takeoffs keep the original punctuation, e.g. "To err is human, to forgive is divine".

For sure, and a sentence everyone will interpret in exactly the same way as the ugly "To err is human; to forgive is divine".

A poet would write the first, a librarian the second. Sorry, Alec and Don, but that's how it is.

Charles Riggs
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To err is, human.

This sentence contains two erors.

That took a minute (1), but I like those. Raymond Smullyan did too.

'Minute' in this context does not mean 60 seconds, Coop. It is one of those phrases that has much flexibility in meaning. To give you another example that will be more up your alley, if you say, 'Can I take a minute of your time to interest you in a vacuum cleaner?', the housewife at the door will understand you're asking for a considerably greater slice of her day than a minute.

Charles Riggs
But the original is more commonly written: "To err is human: to forgive, divine." Well, it is by me any way. Matti

Is that a colon after "human"?
Why a colon?
And the comma after "forgive"?
To show an oral pause?
In place of "is"?

paulo
Then there is the programmer's saw of yesteryear, To err is human, but to really screw things up you need a computer ?

Ignore question mark: It was an edit-o.
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Steffen Buehler filted:
To err is, human.

This sentence contains two erors.

2RSU, man..r
"To err is human, to be mauled by Spyware is, criminal". I came across this phrase on a Windows Experts website today. . . . I can't get my head around the punctuation used :-((

PW is right that the punctuation is wrong: but
the sentence's main defect is lack of clarity. It fails to specify whether the criminal is the erring user or the author of the spyware.

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
"To err is human: to forgive, divine."

Is that a colon after "human"? Why a colon?

A colon indicates that what follows elaborates what precedes it. Ref: Penguin Guide to Punctuation, by Larry Trask.
And the comma after "forgive"? To show an oral pause? In place of "is"?

I think that both of your suggestions have merit in this example; the hint of an oral pause is the more important for me, however.

Matti
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The colon is chosen to indicate the parallelism of the two clauses - one of that mark's distinctive uses. I feel pretty sure that the comma marks the omission of "is". The sentence originally quoted by Paulo should therefore read "To err is human: to be mauled by Spyware, criminal".

Alan Jones
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