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punctuation puzzle

Discussion in 'English Only' started by changeling, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. changeling Senior Member

    Russia, russian
    Hi Group!

    I have a curious question. While translating a marketing article I stumbled over the following punctuation: These "18 Web-Marketing Concepts That Make a Difference" may just give you an edge on your competition - or an edge, period.
    Are there any excessive commas?
     
  2. Mark1978 Senior Member

    English
    Excessive? There is only one :p

    It's definitely American English. In BE we would say "full stop", instead of "period".
     
  3. changeling Senior Member

    Russia, russian
    But the only one comma makes the meaning of the sentence very vague for me :)
     
  4. Mark1978 Senior Member

    English
    It's a badly written sentence.
    Presumably ""18 Web-Marketing Concepts That Make a Difference"" is referring to a book. So if we substitute book into the sentence we get

    This book may just give you an edge on your competition - or an edge, period.

    Now the dash can be interpreted as a full stop. And the nasty 'period' can be rephrased so we'll get a much nicer sentence

    "This book may just give you an edge on your competition, or just an edge".

    Edge here referring to 'advantage'.

    Hope that helps!
     
  5. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The punctuation of the original sentence looks fine to me.

    But an "edge, period" or "just an edge" is a strange concept.
    How can you have an advantage if there is no competitor, nothing to compare with?
     
  6. AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States
    In my mind, this sentence is clear and easily understood! It's emphasizing the fact that these concepts have the benefit of giving you two kinds of advantages:

    1. An edge over your competition.
    2. And generally speaking, just an edge over every other aspect in your job! It could be it gives you the advantage of performing better than your co-workers. Or it gives you the advantage of impressing your boss with added knowledge.

    I like the sentence a lot. It works for me. The punctuation is perfect, in my opinion.

    In AE, we often use the , period phrase. This is not an unusual sentence structure for me.

    AngelEyes
     
  7. changeling Senior Member

    Russia, russian
    To: AngelEyes and the group

    It fits perfectly. And the article is definitely American, so to speak.
    Thanks everybody
     

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