LINGUIST List 8.774

Sat May 24 1997

Disc: Punctuation

Editor for this issue: Ann Dizdar <>


  1. Carl.Mills, Re: 8.726, Disc: Punctuation
  2. Alex Monaghan CA, Re: 8.726, Disc: Punctuation
  3.>, Punctuation Summary - Part 2
  4. Mark Mandel, punctuation
  5. David Robertson, Re: Disc: Punctuation

Message 1: Re: 8.726, Disc: Punctuation

Date: Fri, 16 May 1997 10:10:12 -0500 (EST)
From: Carl.Mills <Carl.MillsUC.Edu>
Subject: Re: 8.726, Disc: Punctuation

Regarding Roger Lass's recent posting on the "greengrocer's
apostrophe," overuse of the apostrophe is endemic to the U.S. At a
small neighborhood supermarket near the University of Cincinnati there
is on the wall above the cash register a sign that reads "No
Check's!"--apostrophe, quotation marks, and exclamation point are all
in the original.

Carl Mills
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Message 2: Re: 8.726, Disc: Punctuation

Date: Mon, 19 May 97 11:48:06 BST
From: Alex Monaghan CA <alexCompApp.DCU.IE>
Subject: Re: 8.726, Disc: Punctuation

i can't resist this one:

a greengrocer's van in lauder, southern scotland, sported the
following piece of expensive signwriting for several years:

	Friars Fruiter'y

i assume that mr friar requested an apostrophe before the last letter,
and the sign-writers duly obliged. the result was either too expensive
or too amusing to correct.
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Message 3: Punctuation Summary - Part 2

Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 14:08:32 GMT
From:> <>
Subject: Punctuation Summary - Part 2

From: <>

It seems I was too hasty in posting my summary. More people to thank
for responding to my questions about punctuation (LINGUIST List
Vol-8-586, and 8.696) are:-

Virginia P. Clark,
Bilge K. Say,
Sandra Wilde.

- ----------------------------------------------------------
"Virginia P. Clark" <>

Knew of a punctuation list. Having only recently subscribed myself, I
can't give too much of an opinion yet.

To Subscribe, send the message (no subject or signature):
body subscribe punct-l <youruseridyourdomain>
to <>
- ----------------------------------------------------------
Bilge K. Say <>
Home Page:

A "PhD student studying mainly semantic and discursive functions of
punctuation from a computational point of view", was another person
who reminded me of Bernard Jones and his thesis, and the latter's
editorship of the Proceedings of ACL workshop to which Bilge was a

I am also grateful for the discussion list address. It is not
directly about punctuation but is, apparently, the next best thing - a
copy-editors list. I have just started using this, and can agree with
our colleauge that its volume is big. It will be interesting to see
if it can manage to send me more mail than even Linguist does!

To subscribe, send the message:

I was also reminded of Nigel Hall and Anne Robinson, who work on young
children's learning of punctuation, and their having edited "Learning
about Punctuation", Clevendon Press, 1996. Actually, I have read
this, and it's a marvellous book. Bilge also reminds me of "The
Punctuation Project" by the same people. This is at the School of
Education, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK, and its
web site is at
- ----------------------------------------------------------
Sandra Wilde <>

Also told me about the book "Learning about Punctuation" edited by
Nigel Hall and Anne Robinson, published in the UK by Multilingual
Matters. "It's a compilation of articles about children's learning to
punctuate." (Sandra is one of the authors.)

There is also a conference, hosted by Hall and Robinson (see
above), about punctuation June 6 & 7 in Manchester, England.

Hall's e-mail address is

Jess J. Shapero,
Post Graduate Research Student,
School of English,
The University of Birmingham,
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Message 4: punctuation

Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 20:29:43 -0500
From: Mark Mandel <>
Subject: punctuation

I just received this response to a recent LINGUIST exchange in which I

>I believe you said (or someone at Linguist said):
>Mark Mandel <>
>Personal home page:
>Who reckons that, "someone maintains a discussion group on
>punctuation". Marks thinks it's an email group but, "can't
>find it in the LINGUIST lists of mailing lists or web sites, or
>by searching the LINGUIST archives for "Punctuation".
>Please, if anyone else has any clues about this, let me know.
- ------------------------

As a matter of fact, I run the mailing list on punctuation. You are
welcome to join us for practical or theoretical discussions.

Al Krahn ~
Milw. Area Tech. College ~ 700 W. State St.
Milwaukee WI 53233 ~ 414/w297-6519,f297-7990
list owner, PUNCT-L, for the discussion of punctuation
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Message 5: Re: Disc: Punctuation

Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 13:48:53 -0700 (PDT)
From: David Robertson <>
Subject: Re: Disc: Punctuation

Regarding the spelling [it's] versus the rarity of the variants [hi's]
and [her's], my two cents:

Recently I read, in a book on the history of English-language
dictionary making titled "Chasing the Sun" or something similar, that
the possessive word "its" came into our language only about 200 years
ago, if memory serves me.

Presumably "his" and "hers" are quite a lot older than this, and not
as readily analyzable as genitives of the "apostrophe-s" type.

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