Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: The Up Front Guide – How to Make a Stupid Law

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  • giovanni tiso,

    You're a little flag??

    We should have a PAS faq for things like pendant.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    That's a very good speech punctuation guide, Emma. But I have read a number of grammar and style guides, and never before have I seen an example like this one.

    Then reflectively she responded, "I'm not kissing that, there's dog slobber and blood all over it ..."

    I'm struggling to think of a possible context for that sentence.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    But I have read a number of grammar and style guides, and never before have I seen an example like this one.

    Then reflectively she responded, "I'm not kissing that, there's dog slobber and blood all over it ..."

    I'm struggling to think of a possible context for that sentence.

    Aw, thank you. I spent hours hunting through our archives for examples and then carefully context-washing them.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    You're a little flag??

    A little flag is a pennant.

    Or perhaps it's just getting meta around here.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    That entertaining lawyer Chris. (Bless his cotton socks, salt of the Earth, love him to bits, yadda yadda.)

    He would be funny *if* it were not for the fact that every.single.time a new technology has come along the same tired old saw has been rehashed.

    Carnegie library? Ruining writers. Recording music on phonographs? Ruining musicians. Radio (wireless) ruining the world (and propagating communism, the kiddie porn of the day), TV, transistor radios, cassette tapes, VHS, CDs...your own memory. Oh wait. Let's see how they get on with the body hacks where we can store and playback anything through some implants in our heads.

    Then they really will want to pwan us.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    He would be funny *if* it were not for the fact that every.single.time a new technology has come along the same tired old saw has been rehashed.

    Surely you're not simply making the contrary argument that each technological advance (although the word itself is unhelpfully loaded) is a straightforward benefit and ought to just be let free to crush the previous status quo without pondering or possibly influencing the consequences, are you? That would be equally unhelpful.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    You're a little flag??

    Don't be silly, she a little dangly bit of jewelery.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    giovanni - it's Friday, getting late and I have had the benefit of a beer or two to aid my thinking. So let me answer your point clearly.

    Yes.

    But hey, if you and Chris want to go back to pre-penicillin cures for your ailments, be my guest.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    But hey, if you and Chris want to go back to pre-penicillin cures for your ailments, be my guest.

    I won't get into how ridicolous that comparison is, because I wouldn't mind a beer or two myself.

    But let's accept Simon's reading of the issue, and say that s92a and similar efforts are a defence of recording labels and nobody else. I'll make a very simple point then: you know who benefits from all the downloading, legal and illegal? ISPs, who have even less to do with promoting music than the much maligned recording labels. If that's your idea of unequivocal progress, hey, don't let me spoil your ale.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Recording music on phonographs? Ruining musicians.

    It did, actually. Lots of unemployed theatre musicians after that (and again after the talkies). It also killed the piano industry. And it's reduced most people's faith in their ability to sing/make music of their own, as they compare themselves to the recorded standard. There's certainly a fair amount of regress mitigating the progress.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    It also killed the piano industry

    I just wanted to see that in quotes. As you were.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Can we also not spoil my thread? I think you guys already have enough space dedicated to this argument, yes?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Let's whip some ass !

    And I just wanted to get that in before the webstock crowd come over..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    enough space dedicated

    Hell yeh. I thought you had made us a meta-thread - about the process rather than the well-worn content. And it's a whole week since we met. Right, another drink.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Aw, thank you. I spent hours hunting through our archives for examples and then carefully context-washing them.

    See, my mind is busy trying to imagine context. It's, uh, interesting. Or one variety thereof.

    And it's reduced most people's faith in their ability to sing/make music of their own, as they compare themselves to the recorded standard. There's certainly a fair amount of regress mitigating the progress.

    Hopefully sufficiently off the main topic: I recall hearing in dicussions of alternate histories/time travel that one of the things a time-traveller would notice the most about the past is the number of people singing and playing instruments, completely unselfconsciously. It's interesting to imagine.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    My inner pendant swings wildly when I see "corrections" of that nature -- because Amy's original punctuation was also correct, for a quote enclosed within a larger sentence.

    Put aside the pronouncements about what style should look like, for a moment, and consider the functions .

    Punctuation at the end of a quote has two functions:
    (a) marking the intonation of the included material: such punctuation needs to be included within the quote marks;
    and
    (b) marking a pause boundary between the included material and the enclosing sentence: such punctuation belongs to the enclosing sentence, and therefore needs to be outside the quote marks.

    Hence we can potentially have two different punctuation marks, as in:
    The question on everyone's lips was, "Do we really care about this issue?".

    (Would you ever try to put that first comma inside the quotes? If not, why inconsistently insist on putting a following comma or full stop inside the quotes?)

    Where things start to break down is that by convention, if the two punctuation marks are the same, we're told we should only use one of them. And, by and large, American editors and British editors make different decisions concerning which one should be marked. American style guides tend to assign such ambivalent punctuation to the quote, whereas British style guides tend to assign it to the enclosing sentence. Neither convention is "wrong". The choice is entirely arbitrary.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    The choice is entirely arbitrary

    Exactly - does not affect my reading one lil bit. Maybe pendantry is an ingredient of making stupid laws?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Uh, anyway, relevance to main thread:
    ideally, rules should be there for a good reason, and rules set up without any good reason have the effect of wasting a lot of time.
    But then, the human capacity to waste time is simply astounding. :-)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    And lawyers charge for time-wasting by the minute..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    As do copy editors.
    Mark Aronoff has written that the main function of the [American] rule against restrictive which is "to give copy editors more billable hours".
    OTOH, the large chunks of my job that (or, which) are blown on glorified copy-editing are done on a fixed salary, so I have a different perspective on the need for such rules. :-)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    If you're at the Great Blend 2moro, make sure I remember to offer you a job.

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    subbing, or professional irritation?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    glorified copy-editing

    Not a phrase you see every day. It's been a while since I've been glorified, and never for copy-editing.

    Okay.

    I imagine this has been happening in some form since the first town meetings in Athens, has anyone worked out suitable counter strategies?

    I'm going to deal with this in an area I've become depressingly familiar with: prostitution law. We managed, somehow, to have a pretty good low-key debate about prostitution, and end up with a good law. It's not perfect, but I'm of the opinion that it's better than anything else on offer.

    Why? How did this happen, and how come the debate in Britain is such a shitty mess?

    My reading of the situation is that what was different here from in Britain (and Sweden, and over Prop K in the US) was:
    - the central involvement of the Prostitutes' Collective. None of those other countries have consulted with whatever organised representative body exists for the sex industry.
    - the work of Georgina Beyer, and her very presence in the government - someone who knew what they were talking about because they'd been there.
    - the emphasis on practicality over ideology.

    For some reason the conservative Christian pressure only got applied after the law had been passed, when they ran a petition for a repeal and I had to throw my kid's friend's mother out of my house.

    Unfortunately, the lesson appears to be that you have to sneak this shit through while the screechers are looking the other way.

    I do expect people to disagree. I know some people prefer the Swedish model (which criminalises the buying of sex, but not the selling). Whatever the ideology, however, I can't see any reason to exclude the sex industry from a debate about the future of the sex industry.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Giovanni

    I won't get into how ridicolous that comparison is, because I wouldn't mind a beer or two myself.

    Actually, it was my poker bid. I'll see your strawman and raise ya.

    Emma, the PA writer I feel most sorry for is Hadyn. He tries to have these serious sports discussions and we'all end up talking Lime in Coconut.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Emma, the PA writer I feel most sorry for is Hadyn. He tries to have these serious sports discussions and we'all end up talking Lime in Coconut.

    Well, given I did that to him, I think he should just have to suck it up. Through a straw.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

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