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Vernacular EloquenceWhat Speech Can Bring to Writing$
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Peter Elbow

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199782505

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199782505.001.0001

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Living with Two Traditions

(p.259) 13 Punctuation
Vernacular Eloquence

Peter Elbow

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes a fairly simple and orderly technique for punctuating by reading aloud and listening carefully. It first discusses two conflicting traditions about grammar, an older word-ending tradition and a newer word-order tradition, and two traditions of punctuation: the older rhetorical or elocutionary tradition and the newer grammatical or syntactic tradition. It then considers the harmony between the two traditions and the difficulties associated with punctuation before explaining why it makes sense to use reading aloud for punctuation. The chapter concludes with an account about the origin of the rule about the proper usage of the determiners that and which.

Keywords:   reading aloud, listening, grammar, word-ending tradition, word-order tradition, punctuation, elocutionary tradition, syntactic tradition, determiners

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