Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Quote Addendum

A couple of comments rattled into the old Copy Massage mailbox addressing last month's post about quotes.

"Asphaire" wrote --

"on number three.. GREAT to know.. at least i can stop feeling like I have to justify every little two word tango with an oxford quoted explanation.. like i always say when i'm at a loss for any sort of explanation.. if it ain't pleasing to the ear, then it's best to paraphrase. that probably the best grammar rule i know. :o/"

I think the point being referred to is actually my fourth, in which I spoke against parentheticals in quotes. It's stupid. I mean, why are we quoting someone if we don't let them speak for themselves?

The parentheticals I hate most are the condescending ones.

"'I hate that dadratted [U.S. President George] Bush,' Kerry said."

At least the [going to the park] example I created below tries to help the reader. The example above exists merely to show off how intelligent the writer thinks she is and how dumb she thinks the reader is.

"Peter" chimed in --

"I agree with the point of the first example, but adding the "old chap" part is a needlessly hyperbolic flourish. Who does that? Or have you noticed recurring problems with editors turning hillbillies into upper-crust Englishmen?"

Yes. All the time.