Jump to content

Menu

Colons Preceding Long Integrated Quotes?


Recommended Posts

What style uses colons before long integrated quotes, and commas before shorter integrated quotes?

 

The Golden Children's Bible uses colons before all quotes and I started doing some research on colons before quotes. There are so many advanced rules of when colons should/can be used instead of commas, and the rules seem to contradict each other for different styles. According to some websites, it is uncommon, but not wrong to always use a colon. It certainly simplifies things and is no more "wrong" than to always use a comma.

 

Is there a style that just teaches using the colon all the time, like the Golden Bible?

 

I have heard some well educated writing teachers refuse to teach much punctuation saying the rules are too complex and contradictory from one style to another. I thought that was a cop out. But just dealing with colons vs commas for integrated quotes has my head spinning.

 

Good literature uses so many different styles of punctuation! I don't know how to deal with copywork and what I encounter in the copywork.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 I don't know how to deal with copywork and what I encounter in the copywork.

 

If it's copywork, wouldn't be the point to copy it as it is?

 

Really, these tiny differences in punctuation between different styles are not a hill to die on. That is something one will simply look up when asked to write in an unfamiliar style.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it's copywork, wouldn't be the point to copy it as it is?

 

Really, these tiny differences in punctuation between different styles are not a hill to die on. That is something one will simply look up when asked to write in an unfamiliar style.

 

If copywork is supposed to model what the student is supposed to do, how are they able to come to any conclusions about what they are supposed to do in their own writing, if the models are so different?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If copywork is supposed to model what the student is supposed to do, how are they able to come to any conclusions about what they are supposed to do in their own writing, if the models are so different?

 

If styles are different it means there are different ways to interpret the punctuation rules.

It also means that language is changing and evolving, so I would make sure to use contemporary passages for copy work and not something dated.

 

Btw, I do not consider copy work a very efficient method of internalizing punctuation rules. It is much more effective to simply look up the darned rule and remember it - as opposed to picking it up through immersion by copying one hundred different passages.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Isn't the Golden Children's Bible really old? Punctuation rules have changed over time. I hardly ever see colons used for integrated quotes like that. If I wanted to use the copywork to teach punctuation, I would either pick a more modern source or write the quote using modern punctuation.

 

This is one of the problems I have with using vintage LA materials also. Sometimes, the spellings and punctuation rules have changed over the last 100 years. For example, they used to write "to-day" or "to-morrow". Nowadays, those are one word: "today", "tomorrow". I'm not going to teach my kids the old style when it's not used anymore. They can read works with the old style and just know that's how it used to be, but for teaching spelling and punctuation, I want modern source texts. I'd be ok with editing the vintage source text to meet modern standards for copywork purposes though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the Golden Bible is 1965. 

 

I think I pay more attention to punctuation in books than most people do, as I've been trying to settle into a consistent style. I write a lot of awkward sentences, because that is how I talk, and they require fairly complex and creative punctuation. I probably read about 10 books a year on punctuation, and always check out the punctuation section of any general English book.

 

The more I learn, the more there seems to be to learn. It seems just to get more and more contradictory the more I study. Among certain careers and genres, certain styles are more common. But in general there is so much variation.

 

As I said earlier in this thread or another recent one, I think what I'm now calling "grammar school punctuation" is like the 5 paragraph essay. I kinda stalled for awhile in teaching writing when I abandoned the tight 5 paragraph essay and every paragraph needs a topic sentence model. I'm feeling a bit lost with punctuation and copywork right now, but I think maybe like the writing, I will find my way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the Golden Bible is 1965. 

 

I think I pay more attention to punctuation in books than most people do, as I've been trying to settle into a consistent style. I write a lot of awkward sentences, because that is how I talk, and they require fairly complex and creative punctuation. I probably read about 10 books a year on punctuation, and always check out the punctuation section of any general English book.

 

The more I learn, the more there seems to be to learn. It seems just to get more and more contradictory the more I study. Among certain careers and genres, certain styles are more common. But in general there is so much variation.

 

As I said earlier in this thread or another recent one, I think what I'm now calling "grammar school punctuation" is like the 5 paragraph essay. I kinda stalled for awhile in teaching writing when I abandoned the tight 5 paragraph essay and every paragraph needs a topic sentence model. I'm feeling a bit lost with punctuation and copywork right now, but I think maybe like the writing, I will find my way.

 

I type on social media, such as this forum or Facebook etc in a conversational way. Without much regard to grammar, even though I love grammar. Just so you know. I type as if I were really talking to you. Because we rarely talk in correct sentences that would work in an essay.

 

If I were writing a piece for a  class, editorial, essay, any kind of professional type writing, I would be much more careful.

 

As far as colon use and quotations, I feel it's a manner of style. A colon : certainly doesn't have the same appeal IMHO as a semicolon ; when coming before quotation marks. Of course it's best to just make sure you have your comma usage down.

 

A semi colon just looks more elegant to me, especially between those independent clauses.

 

A colon seems to be something I would use if following up with a list.

 

I think the value in copywork is you get to see models from ARTISTS (which IMHO what authors are) rather than a textbook writer. There are rules, and often the rules can be bent to make a sentence more formal, informal, or to even control the speed of your reader's breathing or tempo while reading.

 

I'm thinking of Wind in the Willows which have those beautiful long sentences full of semi colons, dashs, commas that are used to link so many beautiful ideas and imagery that you feel sort of breathless after reading it aloud. That's done on purpose in really great writing.

 

Of course I'm a reader who reads punctuation. It annoys me to hear my dh read aloud because he'll do it all in a rush, and I'm over hear thinking, "that was a semicolon, a bit more of a pregnant pause rather than a short comma pause, that was an ellipses so give me some anticipation, don't just read it as though they weren't there." And so on.

 

But that could just be me. I don't have the first clue what all the rules are, I just know the punctuation has a "sound" to me. 

 

I don't use copywork to teach grammar and spelling. I use copywork to teach style.

 

ETA: Had to edit and take the parentheses out of the sentence with symbols. In correct grammar a symbol added to a sentence would have parentheses around it, but in this day and age a parentheses is nothing but code for a smilie face. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Forgive me for going off topic, but every time I read this thread title I think of a woman who recently posted on Facebook that she smelled like her boyfriend's colon.   Of course she meant to spell cologne.  My boy's juvenile humor is apparently catching, because I had to share.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Literature is an art. I have been thinking exactly that. We have our children copy all sorts of paintings done in different styles. They don't learn ONE way to draw/paint a tree.

 

I'm not sure how to apply this new revelation to copywork and my OCD tendencies, but...I'm thinking a lot about copywork as art. Walking-Iris, that is helpful to think of the difference between style and grammar.

 

If taking the "literature is art" path, a focus on sound would be the best path to take, I think. Someone here recommended Nitty Gritty Grammar to me, and it has a nice section on the sound of punctuation.

 

I found a vintage source that said it's important to focus on external punctuation before starting internal punctuation. And I found another source that said use as little punctuation as possible.

 

If punctuation changes THIS quickly, I'm thinking it's not that important to learn the current most common model slavishly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm certainly not an expert on anything. But I love to write, if only for myself. I've been a die hard fan of both The Artist's Way and The Vein of Gold since my college days. I hope to incorporate both into my homeschooling at some point.

 

I have stacks of journals stored away full of musings, snatches of short stories, bits of poems, my own "copywork" only I didn't know that was what I was doing, doodles and so on.

 

My aim in writing is to have my children learn enough of the basics (and a bit more) to excel at any academic or professional writing they may encounter as an adult. 

 

But I definitely approach it as an artform. It's my one serious detraction from SWB and WTM. Creative writing is a big part of my philosophy of life. :)

 

I'm not a slave to teaching grammar. It's not something I feel needs to be covered in depth yearly, unless there are things the student is having trouble grasping.

 

But I'm also not comfortable with allowing copywork/dictation to be the means of teaching it. I tend to cover it when I cover it with a decent grammar program and get it out of the way, and then we get on with the business of writing the rest of the year, pulling down our resources when we have a question about something during revision.

 

Writer's Express, Woe Is I and Woe Is I Jr, and Nitty Gritty Grammar are some books we use.

 

I realize you asked a very specific, technical question and i seem to have derailed the conversation. I think if i were tutoring adults, i would focus on the basics that are timeless. grammar conventions change, style changes, but really the majority of all the grammar an educated person needs to be proficient with is not changing that much.

 

My dh teaches GED, so he covers this a lot. He's teaching basic grammar concepts to adults who didn't get it for whatever reason. If he were to get to abstract and too far into the art of it, or style of it, they would be lost. He has them write quite a bit, because they are preparing for the written portions of the GED. He can't get too deep into the "beauty" of writing however because his time with them is limited, and that's not what they need at that particular time. These are adults who can't tell him the subject and predicate of a sentence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm trying to find a balance between how you write and teach your children, and what your husband is doing. Most of my students have failed the GED prep courses. So sometimes I think they need an even more concise approach, and with some, I think they will never sit for that GED test, or never use it, so why not just let them enjoy the art part.

 

I've got Writer's Express right here beside me! And the library copy of Nitty Gritty. And I recently repurchased Learning Grammar through Writing. I have and do sometimes use the Artist's way with students. It's great trauma recovery as well as art, and it gets them writing.

 

And for the KJV ladies, anything to do with the KJV really works with them. I'm just not going to give up KJV copywork anymore over the punctuation.

 

You did not derail. I'm derailing myself. I'm just not going to obsess over this internal punctuation so much. At least not to the point that I have to lose the big picture of what else I want to do.

 

I tend to obsess over a certain skill or subject, getting tighter and tighter and tighter to teach it better, and I find once I finally get there and have the perfect way to teach it, that it's too tight to apply to REAL life. The student might be able to complete the perfect lesson and make such a pretty school paper, but there is no improvement in quality of life and application. I'm finding sometimes it's actually better to teach less and looser, and move onto something else.

 

In the general population, internal punctuation is absent or sound based. I wanted to teach better than this, but…I think not all students will benefit by me prioritizing this and limiting their exposure to other types of lessons.

 

I'm looking at the bold lessons of Learning Grammar through Writing. I had given my old copy away, feeling it wasn't explicit enough. I'm thinking it's almost perfect now. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you ever looked at Killgallon?

 

I've recently discovered it, and I love it. Mainly I love it because my oldest loves it. He got three lessons in merely minutes after I took the package out of the mail box. I eventually got it from him and had a chance to look at it. "Can I look at that now?"

 

It's another way of approaching "copywork", even though that isn't technically what it is at all, but similar.  I find it completely refreshing, and it's certainly tightening up my son's comma usage. 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you ever looked at Killgallon?

 

I've recently discovered it, and I love it. Mainly I love it because my oldest loves it. He got three lessons in merely minutes after I took the package out of the mail box. I eventually got it from him and had a chance to look at it. "Can I look at that now?"

 

It's another way of approaching "copywork", even though that isn't technically what it is at all, but similar. I find it completely refreshing, and it's certainly tightening up my son's comma usage.

I'll have to look at it again. In the past, I felt like it didn't deliver what it promised. It's been awhile though, so sometimes I see things with new eyes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...