LINGUIST List 3.690

Mon 14 Sep 1992

Qs: Unknown language; Punctuation Reform

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  1. FD00000, unknown language
  2. , Punctuation Reform

Message 1: unknown language

Date: Fri, 11 Sep 92 14:11:58 MDunknown language
From: FD00000 <FD00UTEP.bitnet>
Subject: unknown language

Can anyone help me identify the language below? It's taken from
some documents intercepted by the U.S. Border Patrol near Douglas,
Arizona, and they've asked me to figure out what language it is.
The writing is VERY unclear, but I've transcribed it here as best
I can. Strangely, Spanish glosses are given for some of the words,
and I've included them here in English translation.

 zobuch sell
 jalcaril blue
 rroshun garlic (or maybe the town of Ajo, AZ)
 shundormelu skinny woman
 shundorhupalycala pretty woman
 yahac shirt
 ehunda ritembo good ass (Sp. "buenna nalga")

There are also the following words and phrases with no translation:

 amy humake chumu dete chay
 hamaque rroshun dau

Any help would be appreciated.
 -Grant Goodall
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Message 2: Punctuation Reform

Date: 13 September 1992, 12:02:3Punctuation Reform
From: <>
Subject: Punctuation Reform

 This an inquiry for suggestions on how to bring about
an item of punctuation reform.
 I would like to see American English join the rest of the world
(including British English) in the logic of quotation marks.
As you know, American practice calls for a period or comma to go
inside the quotation marks, regardless of the logic or sense of the quote.
The drawbacks of this practice are especially severe in writing about
computing matters. For example, there is no way that I can obey
"correct" punctuation and accurately tell someone my e-mail ID is
 By the way, perhaps some reader can help me relocate the published
article on this problem, that I saw somewhere in a linguistics journal,
which cites a paradoxical example like
"There are three characters in the string 'dog.'"
 My query: If one is serious about this reform, what are the practical steps
for promoting it? With no national language academy, where are the key points
to apply leverage? LSA Style Sheet? MLA? Time/Warner? Try to persuade
the aforementioned, or take matters into one's own hands by practicing
"logical" punctuation in MSS submitted for publication?
 Suggestions, please.

Lee Hartman ga5123siucvmb.bitnet
Department of Foreign Languages
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901 U.S.A.
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