Consistent punctuation oddities

Grant Barrett gbarrett at WORLDNEWYORK.ORG
Mon Apr 28 13:28:58 UTC 2008

Does anyone know of any work that has been done on the consistent
nonstandard use of punctuation? Two not-so-rare usages come to mind.

1. Space before periods and commas rather than after. "Money ,that
devil substance ,is like heaven to some people .They have no idea what
hell is like ." Made up example, though I see this sort of thing in
emails to the radio show that I'm reluctant to quote here without the
correspondents' permission.

2. Using commas instead of apostrophes. "I,ve done extensive research
but I,m looking for the actual law." Real example posted today to my
web site

What most interests me is if there's any kind of rationalization for
this punctuation. Did they teach themselves to type and that's the way
they've always done it? Do they think it looks better? Are they typing
on a foreign keyboard? Are they unaware that it's different than the
way most people do it? Something else?

Thanks, in any case.

Grant Barrett
gbarrett at
113 Park Place, Apt. 3
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(646) 286-2260

The American Dialect Society -

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