[scribus] Quotes -- or, about typographical conventions

Gregory Pittman gregp_ky at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 8 16:34:42 UTC 2011

On 08/08/2011 12:15 PM, John Jason Jordan wrote:
> On Mon, 8 Aug 2011 10:27:35 -0400
> John Culleton<john at wexfordpress.com>  dijo:
>> BTW the typeset ellipsis should be added to the list of glyphs
>> selectable by menu in the Story Editor. I would place it at the
>> bottom of the list because it is not used that often.
> One of my pet peeves is the overuse of the ellipsis to replace the
> period, common on the internet. Traditionally it is to be used to
> indicated deleted portions of a citation, or to end an interrupted or
> incomplete sentence, as where a thought was not completed. The latter
> is frequent in in fiction, commonly in dialog. When I read postings
> on the internet it often seems that the writer is incapable of a
> complete thought.
> The use of the ellipsis to replace the period probably started on the
> internet, but is spreading. I find it now in student papers at the
> university. I even found an instance of it in Pittman, Schäfer, et
> al. (2009), although I can't give a page number because I failed to
> mark it in my copy.

Gosh, I would hope that "an instance" of ellipsis use in a 400+ page 
book would not be a cardinal sin.

There are a number of typographical insertions which indeed can be overused:

1. "some word or phrase", also called scare quotes by some, though it 
seems that the term scare quotes is primarily meant to be by definition 
defamatory rather than intellectually understandable.

2. excessive use of (parenthetical) statements, and by extension the use 
of en-dashes and em-dashes. There is sometimes a need to set some word 
or phrase apart, but when it's happening a lot with your work, you are 
probably overusing these.

3. excessive use of commas. This is something that clearly has been a 
moving target over time. If you look at books from the 18th, 19th, and 
early 20th centuries, they are used in great abundance, separating any 
collection of words that might be interpreted as a phrase, modifier, or 
anything outside of a simple sentence structure. I think things are 
coming around to the idea that you should read a comma as inserting a 
short pause for the reader, so that if a pause is clearly necessary, 
then probably a comma should be inserted, but if it makes just as much 
sense without a pause, then omit it.


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