SPOILER for _Dragon_...what's up with Vlad, again?

Mon Feb 17 17:58:29 PST 2003

I don't in fact use exclamation points.  Perhaps they were useful once,
but when I see one now it's usually because of poor writing, and in such
matters bad drives out good (even my British colleagues are infected
with the "pluralize with apostrophe-s" web virus).

In my opinion question and quotation marks convey too much grammatical
information to do without, though some authors do in fact dispense with
the latter and (I believe) the former.

In any case, I've seen too many sentences on the net which couldn't be
spoken in the tone indicated by the attached emoticon to find them
tolerable.  Your mileage may vary, to quote the net.

- Philip

On Mon, 17 Feb 2003, David Goldfarb wrote:

> From: Philip Hart <philiph at SLAC.Stanford.EDU>
> >> #I think emoticons are evil and encourage bad writing.
> >>
> >> Any device can be misused.
> >
> >Devices that exist to be misused should be restricted or banned.
> I hope that you take this philosophy to its logical conclusion
> and eschew the use of question marks and exclamation points.
> A truly skillful writer should be able to convey questioning or
> emphasis through word choice -- what are these marks but emoticons
> that have accumulated a little weight of tradition?
> You should dispense with quotation marks, too.  Your reader should
> be able to tell when you're quoting or using dialogue without
> such artificial aids.
> --
>    David Goldfarb       <*>|"The only thing better than messing with somebody's
> goldfarb at ocf.berkeley.edu  | sense of reality is messing with a whole LOTTA
>                            | people's sense of reality...."
> goldfarb at csua.berkeley.edu |              -- J. Michael Straczynski