The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #104248   Message #2135554
Posted By: Peter K (Fionn)
28-Aug-07 - 05:46 PM
Thread Name: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
So sorry, DaveO. "Access" to mean "onset" or any other noun is usage I had never encountered. But there it is, writ large in my own dictionary. Oh dear.

And apologies too to mg and LH. Here I have some slight defence in that the authority on which I have hitherto depended, (A Manual of English Grammar by Theophilus D Hall MA, London 1905, LOL) has a different take on prepositions from that quoted by Amos.

Thus: "A Preposition is a word which (should be "that" in my view) shows the relation of one Noun to another. [Examples given.] All prepositions appear to have been originally Adverbs. Prepositions are usually put before Nouns and Pronouns which they connect with some preceding Noun, Adjective or Verb. [Examples.] When a Preposition connects Noun with Noun, the relation is between one object and another; when it connects a Noun with an Adjective, the relation is between the Quality expressed by the Adjective and the Noun; when it connects a Noun with a Verb, the relation is between an action and its effect." Etc, etc.

I retained Theophilus's use of caps because a significant part of my defence is that neither occurances of "object" takes initial cap - ie they are used as general, not grammatical terms. I must now consult other authorities on English English grammar in case this is one of those points of departure between English English and American English. But that's just out of curiosity: I don't regard one as more valid than the other.

Anyway, apologies again - I bow to George's dog.

Re Kat's point about the readability of block caps, my brother is registered blind (but has some sight) and prefers caps for anything up to a few words. But for text of sentence length or longer he favours upper and lower. (In all cases he uses powerful enhancement aids.) Research in the UK over a long period has shown that most people much prefer u/l for block text - it seems we tend to recognise words more by their overall shapes than by reading each character. Word shapes are obviously much better differentiated in lower case than in caps. (Use a rule or something to obscure the top half or the bottom half of a line of text and the impact on readability is likely to be greater if the text is all caps.)