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Without entering now into the why, let me observe that the printer may

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Without entering now into the why, let me observe that the printer may  [#permalink]

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Without entering now into the why, let me observe that the printer may always ascertain when the dash of the MS is properly and when improperly employed, by bearing in mind that this point represents a second thought⎯an emendation. In using it just above I have exemplified its use. The words ―an emendation‖ are, speaking with reference to grammatical construction, put in apposition with the words ―a second thought.‖ Having written these latter words, I reflected whether it would not be possible to render their meaning more distinct by certain other words.

Now, instead of erasing the phrase ―a second thought,‖ which is of some use⎯which partially conveys the idea intended⎯which advances me a step toward my full purpose⎯I suffer it to remain, and merely put a dash between it and the phrase ―an emendation.‖ The dash gives the reader a choice between two, or among three or more expressions, one of which may be more forcible than another, but all of which help out the idea.

It stands, in general, for the words⎯“or, to make my meaning more distinct.” This force it has⎯and this force no other point can have; since all other points have well-understood uses quite different from this. Therefore, the dash cannot be dispensed with. It has its phases⎯its variation of the force described; but the one principle⎯that of second thought or emendation⎯will be found at the bottom of all. That punctuation is important all agree; but how few comprehend the extent of its importance!

The writer who neglects punctuation, or mis-punctuates, is liable to be misunderstood⎯this, according to the popular idea, is the sum of the evils arising from heedlessness or ignorance. It does not seem to be known that, even where the sense is perfectly clear, a sentence may be deprived of half its force⎯its spirit⎯its point⎯by improper punctuation. For the want of merely a comma, it often occurs that an axiom appears a paradox, or that a sarcasm is converted into a sermonoid. There is no treatise on the topic⎯and there is no topic on which a treatise is more needed.

There seems to exist a vulgar notion that the subject is one of pure conventionality, and cannot be brought within the limits of intelligible and consistent rule. And yet, if fairly looked in the face, the whole matter is so plain that its rationale may be read as we run. If not anticipated, I shall, hereafter, make an attempt at a magazine paper on ―The Philosophy of Point.‖ In the meantime let me say a word more of the dash.

Every writer for the press, who has any sense of the accurate, must have been frequently mortified and vexed at the distortion of his sentences by the printer‘s now general substitution of a semicolon, or comma, for the dash in the MS. The total or nearly total disuse of the latter point, has been brought about by the revulsion consequent upon its excessive employment about twenty years ago. The Byronic poets were all dash.
1. The passage indicates that if given the chance to respond to the following claims, the author is LEAST likely to agree with which of the following statements?
A. There is a single ideal way in which any thought can be expressed.
B. The rules of punctuation are simple and rational.
C. Punctuation helps to convey the writer‘s intended meaning and tone.
D. Most people do not understand the correct use of punctuation.
E. The full stop is superior to the comma

2. The author most likely mentions his intention to write an article entitled ―The Philosophy of Point‖ in order to:
A. remind the reader that grammar is a branch of philosophy.
B. indicate the possibility of explaining correct punctuation concisely.
C. furnish his own credentials as an expert on punctuation.
D. emend his statement about punctuation.
E. point out the similarity between punctuation and philosophy

3. According to the passage, which of the following is true of the relationship between words or phrases separated by a dash?
A. Each word or phrase partially conveys the author‘s meaning.
B. The second word or phrase renders the first one superfluous.
C. The first word or phrase states the main topic, and the second states the sub-topic.
D. The two words or phrases pertain to separate topics.
E. The dash can be easily replaced with a colon


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Re: Without entering now into the why, let me observe that the printer may  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2018, 04:13

Topic and Scope

- The use of punctuation, and in particular the dash

Mapping the Passage


¶s1-3 explain the main use of the dash: to present multiple expressions describing the
same idea.
¶4 argues that punctuation is extremely important to the meaning of language.
¶5 suggests that the topic of punctuation has not been sufficiently explored.
¶6 introduces the dash and notes that it has gone out of style in the press.
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Re: Without entering now into the why, let me observe that the printer may  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2018, 04:15

Answers and Explanations


1)

You‘re looking for a right answer that isn’t a valid inference. Since there‘s not much information to go on in the question, the answer will probably have something to do with the author‘s main points. Predict: Punctuation is important, and the dash is unique—it allows multiple expressions of the same thought, something that other punctuation can‘t accomplish. (A) immediately recommends itself.
(A): The correct answer
(B): Opposite. The author argues in ¶5 that it‘s a ―vulgar notion‖ to think that punctuation doesn‘t follow simple rules. Therefore, the author certainly believes that it does.
(C): Opposite. This sums up the author‘s argument in ¶4.
(D): Opposite. This also follows from the author‘s suggestion that ―few comprehend the extent‖ of punctuation‘s importance.
(E): Out of scope. This is never stated in the passage.

2)

Where is ―The Philosophy of Point‖ mentioned? Go back to ¶5 and review your map: The author wants to argue that writing can follow clear and consistent rules. It‘s a good bet, then, that the author mentions the article in order to reinforce this point. (B) says the same, suggesting that the article would be the author‘s attempt to explain exactly what the rules of punctuation are.
(A): Distortion. Though the author puts the word ―philosophy‖ in the title, there‘s no suggestion that there‘s anything philosophical about grammar.
(B): The correct answer
(C): Out of Scope. The author never suggests that the purpose of the proposed magazine article would be to reinforce his credentials.
(D): Distortion. Though the author wants to expand on his statement that punctuation follows simple rules, he‘s not interested in emending—that is, modifying—his argument about punctuation.(E): Incorrect, as described above.

3)

A detail question. What does the author argue about different expressionsseparated by a dash? Predict: The main point of the dash is to separate multiplethoughts that together get at the meaning—―which partially convey the ideaintended.‖ (A) says the same.
(A): The correct answer
(B): Opposite. The author argues that each phrase partially conveys the author‘sidea—each expression is useful.
(C): Opposite. Each expression approaches the main thought partially, and sothere‘s no subdivision of purpose as this answer choice suggests.
(D): Opposite. The author states that each expression conveys the same idea.
(E): Out of scope.

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Re: Without entering now into the why, let me observe that the printer may &nbs [#permalink] 24 Oct 2018, 04:15
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