Thursday, January 29, 2009

Writing Style Questions Asked Of Jack!

Jack's previous post is most useful! I submit the following writing style questions of my own.

1. When using "en dash" as a noun adjunct should one place an en dash between the "en" and the "dash"? For example, assuming (only within the context of this example) that this is the correct usage, should the en dash between "en" and "dash" in "en-dash" be called an "en-dash en dash" or an "en dash en dash"?

2. As the length of text replaced by an ellipsis increases, is it preferable to use an increasing number of dots or to use three dots separated by an increasing amount of whitespace?

3. At what point in typographical history did the semicolon mutate off from the regular colon?

4. If an author wishes to slip a French phrase into his writing to lend it a certain forme de poire but does not actually understand any French whatsoever, is it the copy editor's job to correct this?

5. When writing out a question, is it okay to not use a question mark if you want to sound like a sarcastic slacker teenager who doesn't really care what the answer is.

6. Why is the apostrophe?

7. Does the Chicago Manual of Style provide a formal grammar over any alphabet that defines the statements understandable by any speaker of English who has ever lived and, if so, does it offer any ethical standards for the practical application of that grammar?

In exchange I'm willing to answer any questions about any of my alleged areas of expertise, such as computer programming or being a huge wiseass.


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