1. amementomori
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    amementomori New Member

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    Use of Quotation . . . with Semicolon

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by amementomori, Apr 17, 2011.

    "An interesting editorial cartoon"; is that and oxymoron?

    Hereinabove is the first sentence of an article I wrote for college. When I received the grade, the teacher said that my use of a semicolon in the opening sentence is incorrect. I just don't see how that is true . . . or, I believe it is a matter of opinion.

    "An interesting editorial cartoon." Is that an oxymoron?

    My argument is that if the above sentence is correct, then the former is also correct. Since both of these sentences have the capability of standing alone -- yet are more closely related -- the use of the semicolon pertains probable.

    I would like to note that: "An interesting editorial cartoon" is not a quote from an actual person. It is just an opening phrase -- if that helps clarify anything since I did not post the whole article.
     
  2. Omega14
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    Omega14 Member

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    I think a colon would be my preferred choice as the first part doesn't really make a whole sentence (semi colons stick together two related sentences, not fragments).

    "An interesting editorial cartoon": is that an oxymoron?

    I'm not entirely sure, but to me it looks better than the semi.

    Rachel
     
  3. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    If it's not a quote, or dialog, then it shouldn't have quotation marks, first of all.

    Stronger than opening with a quotation that isn't actually a quote or dialog.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    from an editor's pov, i'd have to agree with the teacher... more clear and not at risk of being incorrect would have been:

    btw, if you seem to think it is, which i'd gather you do, by having asked the question, then i don't see how you could, since 'interesting' doesn't contradict 'cartoon' or 'editorial' in any sense... something that's humorous can also be interesting... and editorials by their very nature should be... so i'm curious as to why you'd even ask the question...
     
  5. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, I agree. From Hart's Rules, quoted in Fowler: "Whereas the semicolon links equal or balanced clauses, the semicolon generally marks a step forward, from introduction to main theme, from cause to effect, premiss to conclusion, etc." It's a "step forward" in this case (certainly not balanced clauses), so a colon is appropriate.

    Followers of another thread hereabouts might be interested to note the use of "forward" rather than "forwards" in a UK style guide. It has an entry on that, and suggests that in UK usage "forward" is used when the movement is figurative and "forwards" is used when the movement is actual.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    is that repeat of 'semicolon' your goof, or fowler's, dig?...to make any sense, seems to me the second should be 'colon'...
     
  7. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    My goof. Yes, the second should indeed be "colon" -- thanks for spotting that.
     
  8. amementomori
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    amementomori New Member

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    Well, as far as the quote: "An interesting editorial cartoon". . . I was quoting my own opinion in the most general sense. So I would still continue to assume that the quotes belong.
    However, the colon suggestion seems like a good one.

    Dude, it's all about perspective and opinion. Many people would agree the word "interesting" should not go with the word "editorial cartoon"
    ...as the same with...
    happy and marriage.
     
  9. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Shouldn't be in quotes unless you literally interviewed yourself and have an interview with yourself listed in your works cited or references page. Which may or may not be allowed by your professor. I did it once, and my professor just thought it was funny, but without an interview or citing a secondary paper that you wrote, you don't need to quote your own opinions in a paper you're writing.
     
  10. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's a whole genre of supposedly contradictory pairs ("military intelligence", "business ethics" and so on) commonly termed oxymorons for rhetorical or humourous effect. Of course, for them to be true oxymorons the military would actually have to have intelligence and business actually have ethics, despite the popular expectation that they don't. So whether they are true oxymorons is a valid question.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'd be surprised to find that so... does anyone else here [besides the op] think editorial cartoons are generally uninteresting?
     
  12. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Uninteresting? No.

    I'd go along with unfunny, perhaps.
     
  13. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh yes. Neither illuminating, nor funny.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    all?... or just some?
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Please stay on topic
     
  16. amementomori
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    amementomori New Member

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    In addition to my OP and, from what I've gather within reading each reply, while trying to stay on topic, was my use of quotation all together incorrect?

    My main reason for asking this is because I read a lot of philosophy where I see philosophers doing such, and I guess it has adapted to my writing style whether it be narrative/articles etc.

    I guess what I'm asking is, does philosophical writing hold a different rule set in direct relation to their use of quotations because, I have always assumed Friedrich Nietzsche's use of quotes attached to phrases or word(s) were for the sole purpose of emphasis on his own voice, or is there stupidity within me for ever assuming such?
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sorry for the divergence...

    nietzsche was writing in another age, for an entirely different readership... many rules that were followed then have evolved since... as for his intent, only he could say--if he still could say anything... ;-)
     
  18. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Philosophy does to some extent have its own rules -- one of the things they taught us when I did a philosophy module at university was the different style for using quotes. The main difference is the widespread use of scare quotes, but they use them rather more precisely than hack writers do. Also, because of the heritage of the Socratic dialogue, philosophers are more likely than most to put arguments and statements into the mouths of imagined debaters, which is what I think you have in this case. It's still a current practice, but if you transfer it across to fiction then it's probably best to identify actual debaters or drop the quotes. As for non-fiction, you need to find out the style your audience is comfortable with.
     

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