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Pedantic Errancy
Authored by: gatorparrots on Feb 22, '05 01:39:22AM
I guess you didn't catch my reference:
Winston Churchill once said (mockingly) to someone who criticized him for ending a sentence with a preposition: "That is the type of errant pedantry up with which I will not put!"
My point was simply this: Context shapes the definition. When referring to coding and more generally, computers, it could well be argued that the correct name for that character is "back quote." In fact, my definition was straight from Dictionary.com (excuse the lack of reference). In linguistic and some typographical circumstances, your definition would be more correct -- but certainly, only with another alphabetical character beneath the grave accent. It is usually only used alone in definitions or a listing of accents!

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Pedantic Errancy
Authored by: DavidRavenMoon on Feb 22, '05 12:36:57PM

That's a great Churchill quote! I can agree that in certain circumstances that a character is used for a different meaning, and as it is there is little use for accent characters on a keyboard that print alone, so I fully accept that programers have used things like tildes, graves, and carats for other uses. And have even given them new names.

What I won't agree is that a grave is to be used as a quote character. Clearly this started as a way to get "curly quotes" from systems that don't support such characters. (and also typing such things on non Macintosh computers is a chore) But personally I'd rather see inch and foot marks used as quotes (even though the typewriter inch and foot marks are not even correct for use in typesetting... there are other hash marks to use for feet and inches).

It was never my intention to offend anyone. I just think we need to not bastardize so much of our language. That's something I find offending.

Also as some background... I'm married to an English teacher! :)

(so be aware next time you are in a supermarket that it should be "10 items or fewer" and not "10 items or less") ;)

---
G4/466, 1 GB, Mac OS X 10.3.8



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