the full period used before not to mention

Discussion in 'English Only' started by kenny4528, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. kenny4528

    kenny4528 Senior Member

    Mandarin, Taiwan
    Hi there, a bit I read:

    The full period used before not to mention seems odd to me. I'd much favour a comma in here. What do you think?
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  2. cycloneviv

    cycloneviv Senior Member

    Perth, Western Australia
    English - Australia
    I think I prefer it with the full-stop/period. Using a comma would make the sentence starting "All right, thank God ..." even more unwieldy than it is at at present! I think the full-stop reflects the fact that the speaker paused for a longer period of time between "how we were" and "not to mention" than at those points where a comma was used.

    Are you wondering whether a comma would be more grammatically correct? Perhaps you're right; the sentence "not to mention [...] some whore" is fundamentally a fragment, I suppose (I think...) Perhaps a semi-colon would have been more correct, but in direct reporting of speech I think a bit of grammatical leeway can be tolerated.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  3. kenny4528

    kenny4528 Senior Member

    Mandarin, Taiwan
    Cheers~you're right, I first thought of it as wrong due to grammar.
  4. Oeco

    Oeco Senior Member

    Milwaukee, WI
    English - US
    Well much of it is wrong grammatically but it is, as viv says, reported informal speech. Forcing it to obey grammatical standards would no longer be speech. It would be formal writing and I don't think this is what you're after.
  5. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    One of the main functions of punctuation is to try to minimize ambiguity - the written word lacks the inflections which provide so many hints in speech. One of the first things a reader needs to know is where a writer is ending a sentence, and the full stop (period), capital letter, convention is one very clear way of doing that.

    For me, All right, thank God it was just the flu, but you ignored her and went off to your workshop without leaving a number or an address, and you never called us the entire time to see how we were is a sentence, and Not to mention... the start of a new sentence. This makes the full stop almost mandatory in my view; you need to tell the reader that the speaker is starting a new sentence.

    Certainly the grammar is loose and the speech free, but this person speaks in clear sentences and the writer needs to tell the reader when they stop and start.

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