09 October 2008

Punctuation

I teach a couple of legal drafting classes in local universities and law firms. I do not use the following as an example. Nevertheless, it illustrates a very important point.

Punctuation makes all the difference in terms of intent and meaning.

An English professor wrote the words:

"A woman without her man is nothing"

on the chalkboard and asked his students to punctuate it correctly.

All of the males in the class wrote:

"A woman, without her man, is nothing."

All the females in the class wrote:

"A woman: without her, man is nothing."

Interesting.

19 comments:

reader said...

Bagus juga bahan ajarnya Pak Rob

Salam

Anggara

Rob Baiton said...

Anggara...

The words are the same. What makes the difference is how we separate them through punctuation.

Interesting, kan?

reader said...

itu dia pak Rob, lucu juga, jadi kepikiran buat jadi bahan ajar PKPAnya PERADI.hehehehehehehe, atau Pak Rob bersedia?

Rob Baiton said...

Anggara...

I am always ready to share my knowledge (if the price is right. I am far more mercenary than I once was :D).

So, if PERADI or anyone else wants to utilize my services, then they should contact me.

reader said...

wah kalau begitu, saya enggak yakin kalau pricenya akan baik hihihihihihi

Rob Baiton said...

Anggara...

I guess you don't know until you ask :D

Maybe this is how I can make money off my blog, use it to sell myself and my skills on something unrelated to blogging...

Thanks for the idea.

GJ said...

Word on the street is the more attractive the students the lesser the fee. True?????

Rob Baiton said...

Anggara...

Not making money from the blog per se, but rather using the blog to sell my other skills.

GJ...

I had not heard that. But, no matter how good you look in a batik shirt, I cannot see a discount coming your way :D

finally-woken.com said...

Completely agree.

Especially when men posses the ability to not find anything in front of their noses and always scream, "Honeeeey, did you see my watch/wallet/belt/ketchup/beer?" even those stuff are right in front of them.

See, you guys need us :)

Rob Baiton said...

FW...

Yep, I think the idea of "can't live with 'em and can't live without 'em" works both ways but it is interesting that women recognize this and men seem not to.

rimafauzi said...

While all the male students were obviously hallucinating, the female students were undoubtedly super intelligent human beings..

Rob Baiton said...

Rima...

I suppose so :D

toshi said...

u don't really need the punctuation to make it a sexist statement.. haha just reading them w/o punctuation is already funny enoug :D

Rob Baiton said...

Toshi...

The point of the punctuation is to give it particular meaning and show how the same words punctuated differently can mean something completely different.

Not so much funny but illustrative of the power of language.

GJ said...

Silly girls got it wrong AGAIN!!

Rob Baiton said...

GJ...

I will let the girls deal with this comment :D

nunky4evert said...

yang pasti both of them are correct... heheh... no doubt...

tergantung siapa dan bagaimana si pria dan wanita thd pasangannya...
hehehe,,,

Wah, jd inget dulu di kelasmu Rob...
Hm.. my english is still worse.. :(

Rgrds,

Inunk EFL 2006

Rob Baiton said...

Inunk...

Thanks for dropping by an leaving a comment.

You should drop by and comment more often. I do not mind whether you comment in English or Indonesian.

But maybe it would be good practice for you to comment in English :D

I guess in this case the punctuation does depend on which side of the fence you are reading it from.

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