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[whatwg] commas (was Web Forms 2.0 Substantive - Section 5)

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2004 07:57:10 +0000 (UTC)
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.58.0407130743250.2103@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>

Way of topic. :-)

On Mon, 12 Jul 2004, Michael Enright wrote:
>
> Ian, since you've mentioned the pause-comma link before, I went looking
> for a reference.
>
> http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/commas.htm
>
> I remember from school that one pauses when reading commas, but I think
> the reverse is not a rule at all.

I agree. That's why I made the change.


> Humans pause because they need to breathe, or to make the audio easier
> to scan. See rule 11 in the linked text.

See rule 8, though. And in the case we were looking at just now, rule 1.


> Note that you can take all of this as opinion if you want, I stopped
> googling when I found a page that agreed with my recollection :)

Any comment about the English language is opinion, since there is no
normative reference to the language [1].


> Some speakers raise their voices the end of sentences where they make
> assertions. That makes their assertions sound like questions.

Indeed, I lived many years in an area which does this.


> They don't exactly mean them as questions, and they would never "mark
> up" their assertions with question marks to correspond with the pitch
> change.

On the contrary, I would say that for many such speakers, they _are_
questions. The pitch is usually raised on parts of the sentence that the
speaker considers it possible for the listener to not understand, or
require further clarification about.

Given:

"He went to the party, then he saw Jane, they seemed to get on well."
         raise here ^      raise here ^          don't raise here ^

The speaker is effectively saying he can provide more information about
the party and about Jane, but cannot comment further on the result.

Actually, for marking it up, I think the closest analogue would be a
hyperlink, not a question mark. Hmm. Speech hypertext?


-- Footnotes --
[1] With one exception: http://ian.hixie.ch/bible/english
    Note that the "lang" attribute of the WF2 spec claims that the WF2
    spec is written in this language.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Tuesday, 13 July 2004 00:57:10 UTC

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