Punctuation

Happy New Year everyone!

A month ago I was engaged in a big fight with a major international academic publisher, whose typesetters had added commas to our paper in such a way as to change the meaning ssignificantly.

Today I found an even more extreme example of this. It was in the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’ magazine Nature’s Home, in a news article about last summer’s heathland fires in Britain. By using a semicolon rather than a comma in this sentence, they have managed to say exactly the opposite of what they meant.

Please help reduce fire risk on reserves: let fire services know if you spot signs of fire; never light barbecues; drop litter (especially glass) or discard cigarette butts.

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About Peter Cameron

I count all the things that need to be counted.
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4 Responses to Punctuation

  1. igael says:

    … astonishing …

  2. Ursula Martin says:

    Only tangential to what you said, but Mason Porter et al have a jolly preprint on recognising authors by punctuation sequences. Ringside seats advised for his battles with the typesetters. https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/2rzsg

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