Friday, April 17, 2015

Logical Punctuation?

The Twitter world was ablaze yesterday over this Slate article by Ben Yagoda on the shift in mainstream America toward "logical" punctuation. Yagoda's article specifically addresses the American English tradition* of placing punctuation inside quotation marks, though I think the term "logical punctuation" can also include other punctuation, such as the use of commas, dashes, and semi-colons.

I, like Judge Dillard of the Georgia Court of Appeals (@judgedillard), am opposed to logical punctuation. But as my Twitter friend Ellie Margolis (@elliemargolis) pointed out, logical punctuation can be fine if used intentionally. The problem of course, as Yagoda recognizes, is that most writers don't consciously use logical punctuation; their punctuation results from a lack an understanding of American English punctuation rules.

What do you think? With the movement toward less formalism in legal writing, is logical punctuation the next big thing? 

Happy Friday!  

*Writers of British English place punctuation outside quotation marks.

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