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Re: Order & meaning in a proposition

From: Laconic2 <laconic2_at_comcast.net>
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 2004 10:35:37 -0400
Message-ID: <iJGdnUaZ85-NXe_dRVn-uw@comcast.com>


Dawn,

You are right. But language can be tricky.

> Pat is the host who seated the President and the Secretary of the Interior

I had a very snippy English teacher in eigth grade (during the Eisenhower administration) who insisted that the following two sentences are quite different:

Pat is the host who seated the President and the Secretary of the Interior

and

Pat is the host, who seated the President and the Secretary of the Interior

The comma in one case, asserts that Pat is the only host, and that Pat seated the President and the Secretary of the Interior. In the other case, there could be many hosts, but Pat is the one who seated the President and the Secretary of the Interior.

I admit it. I was brainwashed. I still look at commas when I read.

In oral presentations, it's awfully hard to hear that comma! Received on Tue Apr 06 2004 - 09:35:37 CDT

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