Skip to content

Why Punctuation Matters

March 8, 2010

I use the following example when discussing why translating from Greek and Hebrew can be tough, since we have to guess where the punctuation was supposed to go:

he caught his wife sleeping with their therapist the next day they argued

This could be: He caught is wife sleeping with their therapist. The next day they argued.

Or: He caught is wife sleeping. With their therapist, the next day, they argued.

It’s pretty clear to the students how the same words with different punctuation can have completely different meanings.

I also like Ehrman’s godisnowhere example for thinking about spaces: god is nowhere or god is now here?

Advertisements
One Comment leave one →
  1. March 9, 2010 12:29 pm

    Or it could be “He caught his wife. Sleeping with their therapist the next day they argued.” She thought therapy would fix their marriage. He suggested a threesome. Further evidence of the inadequacy of liberal compromise.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: