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Especially for futureMrsT

Now, this is ridiculous. As I twittered today: An institution’s regulatory prohibition of the colon in course title punctuation is indicative of systemic mismanagement.

A statement which is, as I’m sure you’ll all agree, self-evident. Especially when one discovers that Module Titles, quite apart from Programme Titles, are in fact perfectly welcome to include said puncutation marks. We’re also free to separate discontinuous grammatical constructions with parentheses (rather inelegant, if you ask me), or with full stops (actually, I’ve not tested the full stop solution), but not, one realises, with the grammatical device described by Hart’s Rules for Compositors and Readers at the University Press, Oxford, as:

the colon generally marks a step forward, from introduction to main theme, from cause to effect, premiss to conclusion

All perfectly reasonable reasons to declare a state of war, I’m sure you’d agree.

The War of the Colon.

Although, upon further examination, maybe the University’s reluctance to embrace the humble colon might be justified. For example, look at this page header:

<title>School of Creative Arts – UWE Bristol : Courses : BA(Hons) Media Practice</title>

Colons! Everywhere! Ridiculous, transgressive colons. Seeping their way into our culture, and spreading their colonic tentaclyness into the furthest corners of the…

Okay. That’s enough. It’s indicative of systemic mismanagement, and that’s the end of it. Until I get this regulation overturned, and the title of the course instated properly, that is. Of course, in the meantime, I may discover the regulation that prevents the use of the colon. If I do, I’ll let you all know.

Right. Back to work. Lunchtime is over.

Discussion

19 comments for “Especially for futureMrsT”

  1. You stay away from my colon.

    Posted by Andy | February 11, 2009, 4:36 pm
  2. Just out of interest, what is the university’s rationale for the colon proscription?

    Posted by Simon Gurr | February 11, 2009, 4:40 pm
  3. Mr Gurr – that is precisely what I am trying to ascertain. If I am successful (and manage to extract myself from the Kafka-like existence I have designed here), I shall post for all to see.

    Unless it turns out to be a terrible secret.

    Posted by tom | February 11, 2009, 4:51 pm
  4. Its not something boring like colons are used in certain computer systems to denote folders is it?

    Posted by Andy | February 11, 2009, 5:19 pm
  5. Nope – we can have ‘em in module titles, so it can’t be obscure dos-based admin system.

    Posted by tom | February 11, 2009, 5:36 pm
  6. Hmmm. Then my advice is: Get out more

    Posted by Andy | February 11, 2009, 5:50 pm
  7. I’d guess that Andy was referring to macs :-D The colon is used as a separation character in the HFS filesystem and its derivatives.

    I’d say that these sort of things are going to dominate any institution that is as vulnerable to the Peter Principle as universities are.

    Posted by Baldur Bjarnason | February 11, 2009, 5:59 pm
  8. You really should put something like:

    #comments p img {float:none;} into your stylesheet to prevent the comment smiley’s from floating into oblivion. :-D

    Posted by Baldur Bjarnason | February 11, 2009, 6:01 pm
  9. Well I’m sorry I missed the beginning of this scintillating discourse.

    Next week : parentheses – the silent killer!

    Posted by mongo | February 11, 2009, 6:43 pm
  10. It’s good this isn’t it, and highbrow for a comments section. Use of grammar and CSS style sheet tips? Refreshing… I hardly ever get to make any nob jokes any more.

    (I actually do mean that, though you probably won’t believe me. I’ve spent the day fielding drivelling nonsense from illiterate psychotics).

    Posted by mongo | February 11, 2009, 7:22 pm
  11. Hahaha you said nob…Hey Mongo why I’m I not in macformat anymore?

    Posted by Andy | February 11, 2009, 7:32 pm
  12. Yes, I DID say nob, I see what you’re getting at. I thought the tone needed bringing down a bit. Sorry.

    I don’t recall you ever being in MF? Unless you’ve been sneaking in and altering my cover features while I lie in a deep, booze-assisted slumber.

    Posted by mongo | February 11, 2009, 7:41 pm
  13. You did a feature on free software, and there was a screenshot of Adium with me on it!

    Posted by Andy | February 11, 2009, 7:50 pm
  14. That probably counts towards your 15 minutes, which is a rather depressing thought.

    Posted by mongo | February 11, 2009, 8:19 pm
  15. What about my 15 minutes of infamy?

    Posted by Andy | February 11, 2009, 8:36 pm
  16. I believe they’re on YouTube

    Posted by mongo | February 11, 2009, 9:42 pm
  17. Have you ever watched Gossip Girl?.. Its really rather good…

    Posted by Georgie Reynolds | February 15, 2009, 11:57 pm
  18. I agree. It’s amazing.

    Posted by Andy | February 15, 2009, 11:57 pm
  19. My university seemed positively to relish the colon: my correct post nominal from there is BSc(Hons)(Univ:Coll:Dunelm). Last time I used it the stream of abuse from my shipmates was something to behold.

    Posted by Kenny | February 16, 2009, 12:30 pm

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