Friday, December 28, 2007

Secrets

Sorry for my absence. I've been out of town visiting the folks, and internet access has been limited.

I just stumbled upon (and before I get any further, I've noticed some stumble upon hits lately, so those of you who enjoy this blog and are SU users, you should give it a thumbs up if you haven't already) The Secret History of Star Wars, which, like most "Secret History" books, makes me cringe to read the title.

I mean really, people.

Is it impossible for us to write a history book with a new take on a subject while resisting this thoroughly bizarre temptation to label its contents "secret"? (and yes, I know that punctuation is supposed to go inside the quotations, but, really, how much sense would that make here?)The Secret History of the Sword, a book which I love, suffers from the same defect. Let me explain it to you, especially you, the authors:

IT'S NOT SECRET!!!

It's merely little known - but I suppose that "The Little Known History..." isn't quite as compelling.


Regardless, don't let my ranting prevent you from reading the book. I'm not all that far in, but it seems to be a very well researched look at how the Star Wars movies came about. Since it's free on the net, and geeky in nature, I figured that it fell within the purview of the blog despite being nonfiction, and if you disagree, I really don't care.

5 comments:

wincing.at.light said...

You should change the name of your blog to "The Secret History of Stuff I'm Reading".

Just a suggestion. :P

Sebatinsky said...

Ha! That's excellent! You literally had me laughing out loud.

Bill Hilton said...

[Geekery begins]

The punctuation would only go inside the inverted commas if either (a) it was speech (b) it's a quotation and you're writing an academic paper to MLA style (which, weirdly, puts main sentence punctuation inside the inverted commas AND (c) the punctuation in question was a comma or a full stop/period (depending on context.)

Unless they belong to the dialogue or the quotation, question marks and exclamation marks always go outside. So the way you've done it is completely right.

[Geekery ends]

Windvein said...

Brits generally put punctuation outside the quote if the punctuation isn't part of the quote while Americans put them inside.

As long as you're consistent either way, nobody really cares.

I prefer punctuation outside the quote if it doesn't belong to the quote as in your example. And I'm American.

Sources:
http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-pun1.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_and_British_English_differences

http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/marks/quotation.htm#footnote

Sebatinsky said...

@ Bill and Windvein:

Thanks! I just knew that it didn't make any sense to include question marks *inside* the quotation marks when the quote was a statement, and the sentence built around it was the question.

Oh, and Bill - shouldn't that be
[Geekery] [/Geekery]? (I was going to use the proper tags, but blogger wouldn't let me. Perhaps that was your experience as well?)