Hammering on about Paragraphs

Richmond Mathewson geradamas at yahoo.com
Sat Dec 20 06:08:02 EST 2008


JLG wrote:

"I'm not sure what "identifying" means in this case, nor what identifies 
one method as British and the other as American. All the American books 
I've seen have indented paragraphs with no space between."

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That's odd;  when I was at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
I was told by several professors (I use the small 'p' deliberately) that
Indented paragraphs were 'British' and unacceptable. I was also asked by 
one "professor" (of Old English, no less) why I couldn't spell English
correctly! I remember on that day I hopped in the car and went out and sat
with a friend of mine called Cletis Adams on the bench in front of his
trailer and had a look at his soya beans: much nicer and less
complicated sort of bloke than all 'them perfessers'. Oddly enough,
he never objected or commented on my English!

Mind you, I had a real "run-in" with 2 of the 3 members of my MA thesis
committee who objected to my 'British' spelling. However a quick perusal
of the Linguistic Society of America style manual (with which they were
berating me) stated that 'any form of English was acceptable'. Needless
to say, being the charming chap I am, I then wrote them a letter in
Doric Scots (as the Linguistic Society of America defines Scots as a
dialect of English rather than a separate language) telling them a few
facts: after that they seemed to be content with my 'British' spelling.

Certainly, I don't really care whether people want to adhere to North
American, Australian or 'British' English as long as understanding is not 
blocked (must keep hoovering the carpet!!!!).

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By 'identify' I will just quote from Bruce W. perry "Applescript in a Nutshell", O'Reilly, 2001:

page 426;

"paragraph
    an attribute run or chunk of text could contain one or more 
    paragraphs, as is (count paragraphs of attribute run 1 of text
    of document 1). see the paragraph class."

now in Runtime Revolution one can do this:

put the number of words in fld "fX"

but one cannot do this:

put the number of paragraphs in fld "fX"

sincerely, Richmond Mathewson.

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A Thorn in the flesh is better than a failed Systems Development Life Cycle.
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