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27 September 2006 @ 16:12
Punctuation as medical metaphor  

Mark Liberman, continuing the entertaining and edifying discussion of comma/period metaphors over at Language Log, quotes a hospital billboard spotted by Jonathan Lundell:

heart attack.  or  heart attack,

If I had to have some sort of heart attack, but had my druthers as to punctuation, I think I'd go for a ‘heart attack’ in scare quotes. I also wonder, idly and tastelessly, whether the hospital also has a sign like this:

intestinal cancer;

And let's not forget E. E. Cummings's [sic] contribution to the genre ("And death i think is no parenthesis").

 
 
 
Away Above the Chimney Topsboobirdsfly on 27. September, 2006 20:52 (UTC)
wow.
you're alive and well , yes ?
Q. Pheevrq_pheevr on 28. September, 2006 20:41 (UTC)

Yes. (I haven't been posting for a while, because I've been quite busy (but happy to be so), and although I'm now posting about medical disasters, I haven't actually suffered any.)

Lexica: sunbeam through stained glass windowlexica510 on 27. September, 2006 22:41 (UTC)
The United Church of Christ is using a quote from Gracie Allen in their outreach material: "Never place a period where God has placed a comma."
Q. Pheevrq_pheevr on 28. September, 2006 20:48 (UTC)

Yes; an earlier Language Log post on this topic mentions the Allen/United Church of Christ connection.

Vizcachachillyrodent on 28. September, 2006 09:21 (UTC)
intestinal cancer;

I'm embarrassed by how long it took me to get this. I guess worse would be:

intestinal cancer
Q. Pheevrq_pheevr on 28. September, 2006 20:43 (UTC)

Half a: is better than none.