Consistent punctuation oddities

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Mon Apr 28 19:15:48 UTC 2008

Nonstandard punctuation is common in translations from Japanese to
English when the translator follows the Japanese punctuation. There is
a whole list of items that come up looking strange in English, for
example, colons before a word in a tabbed list such as:

Fruit   :bananas
Vegetable       :broccoli


On Apr 28, 2008, at 6:28 AM, Grant Barrett wrote:

> 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?

The American Dialect Society -

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