[Ads-l] The NYT: comma > semi-colon

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Sun Nov 6 09:22:30 EST 2016


I'm with Ben (that is, against Wilson).  And I think the semicolons are rhetorical (which may apply to reading as well as speech -- OED sense 2.a) -- I pause longer for them in the list than for the commas.

Joel


      From: Robin Hamilton <robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM>
 To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU 
 Sent: Sunday, November 6, 2016 1:21 AM
 Subject: Re: [ADS-L] The NYT: comma > semi-colon
   
I'm with Wilson, and note that the Wiki entry cited has "may".  Something about
those semicolons in that context itches my brain.

Semicolons there may be logical but they sure ain't rhetorical.

Given that punctuation is a newfangled intruder gifted to us by Caxton, the
conventions may still be in the process of settling.

Praps why the Sainted Emily used dashes.

Robin Hamilton

> 
>    On 06 November 2016 at 01:39 Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> 
>    I'm with Ben on this one. If individual items in a series include commas
>    (eg, city, state), semicolons are used as separators.
> 
>    On Nov 5, 2016 6:37 PM, "Barretts Mail" <mail.barretts at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
>    > > On 5 Nov 2016, at 15:22, Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>    > >
>    > > On Sat, Nov 5, 2016 at 6:00 PM, Barretts Mail
>    > > <mail.barretts at gmail.com>
>    > > wrote:
>    > >
>    > >> it would have made it so that St. Louis is the state in which Chicago
>    > >> is
>    > >> located.
>    > >
>    > >
>    > > I don't agree.
>    > >
>    >
>    > Okay, but that is standard usage.
>    >
>    > As an easy-to-find starter, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comma: <
>    > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comma:> "If the individual items of a list
>    > are long, complex, affixed with description, or themselves contain
>    > commas,
>    > semicolons may be preferred as separators, and the list may be
>    > introduced
>    > with a colon."
>    >
>    > BB
>    > ------------------------------------------------------------
>    > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>    >
> 
>    ------------------------------------------------------------
>    The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> 

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