Questions tagged [orthography]

Questions about norms of spelling, hyphenation, capitalisation, word breaks, emphasis, punctuation and other aspects of orthography.

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1answer
88 views

Was it common in the late 19th century to write normal places, like "cross roads" and "corners" in capital letters?

In In the Midst of Alarms (1894) by Robert Barr, a young boy was describing the place of blacksmith’s shop, saying: Oh, a couple of miles or so; down at the Cross Roads. Then he said later in ...
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0answers
61 views

Was it usual for "Society" to be written with an initial capital?

From chapter 9 of The Just Men of Cordova (1917) by Edgar Wallace: The Earl of Verlond was a stickler for punctuality: a grim, bent old man, with a face that, so Society said, told eloquently the ...
8
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3answers
2k views

The Torah is written without vowels?

In Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer, Chapter 7 ("The End of Remembering"), he writes: One of the last places where this tradition of recitation still survives is in the reading of ...
7
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1answer
92 views

How is capitalization being used in Maya Angelou's "On the Pulse of Morning"?

I was looking through Maya Angelou's "On the Pulse of Morning", and noticed that there's an interesting use of capitalization in the poem. (I checked multiple version to make sure that this ...
1
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1answer
61 views

What is the intention and purpose behind the "dash style" book format compared to the "quote style" one?

I'm reading a book which is formatted like this: -- No! said Gandalf, looking around. We must not go further before we have had a sip of the elf water! The old wizard looked very worried. It's ...
7
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1answer
172 views

Meaning of capitalized nouns in a Lord Byron poem

I am referencing to Lord Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (see: Wikipedia article). Here is the opening stanza of the work (TO IANTHE): Not in those climes where I have late been straying, ⁠Though ...
1
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2answers
187 views

Can stream of consciousness have punctuation/structure?

Our English teacher showed us a poem about someone trying to organize thoughts/feelings that haunt them into a list, and revising the list as they go. She claims that this style of writing is stream ...
3
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1answer
112 views

What is "a Man in the Top" in Crawford's 'The Screaming Skull'?

From 'The Screaming Skull' by F. Marion Crawford: I ought not to be nervous. I've sailed in a haunted ship. There was a Man in the Top, and two-thirds of the crew died of the West Coast fever ...
5
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1answer
411 views

Why the capitalization of "Heavens" in Rudyard Kipling's "The Secret of the Machines"?

In Rudyard Kipling's poem The Secret of the Machines the last stanza goes as follows: Though our smoke may hide the Heavens from your eyes, It will vanish and the stars will shine again, ...
9
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1answer
132 views

Meaning of the slash ("/") in dialog in Ernst Toller's "Die Wandlung"

I have to translate German playwright Ernst Toller's drama Die Wandlung. In this drama, Toller uses slashes in the dialogues of some characters to separate the sentences, like this: KRIEGSTOD: ...
3
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0answers
308 views

Meaning of this line in Candida by Shaw

There is a speech by Lexy in the beginning of Act I when he is talking to Proserpine: LEXY. Ah, if you women only had the same clue to Man's strength that you have to his weakness, Miss Prossy, there ...
5
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1answer
664 views

E E Cummings: [may i feel said he] What may parentheses signify?

In the poem [may i feel said he] by e.e. cummings, it has been suggested that it is a dialogue between a male and a female. My interpretation (an obvious one) is the dialogue spans a period of time, ...
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2answers
2k views

What is the reason for partial highlighting in "The Sandman"?

I was just re-reading Preludes and Nocturnes, the first volume of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman. In the story titled The Sound of Her Wings, the following conversation takes place: Death: You are ...
23
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3answers
7k views

Why doesn't James Joyce ever use quotation marks?

None of his books use quotation marks for direct speech. For example: — Will he come? The jejune jesuit! Ceasing, he began to shave with care. — Tell me, Mulligan, Stephen said quietly. — Yes, my ...