Colonotomy!

I just found out that a copy editor removed a colon from a key sentence in the critique I just published of Jaswal et al’s pro-FC eye-tracking study. The resulting sentence is incoherent:

Indeed, it would be quite strange if there were the ability to answer open-ended questions, or, more generally, to participate in a communicative exchange, is independent of linguistic medium (speaking, writing, typing), and is limited only by one’s ability to function in that medium (to pronounce words, to write letters and spell words, to type and spell words) and by one’s general communicative competence.

I’ll leave it as an exercise to the interested reader to figure out where the colon goes.

Hint: here is the immediately preceding sentence:

There is, in fact, no empirically established or diagnostically categorized language disorder that combines extant oral skills with conversation skills that only emerge during hunt-and-peck typing.

Word to the wise: when reviewing proofs, make sure to look for tiny strike-through marks through punctuation marks whose occasionally crucial function your copy editor may have somehow overlooked.

6 thoughts on “Colonotomy!

  1. Yikes! I must have skimmed over that when I read it the first time, probably because I think I recognized a large bit of the paper from the blog a few weeks ago. Presumably you meant

    Indeed, it would be quite strange if there were: the ability to answer open-ended questions, or, more generally, to participate in a communicative exchange, is independent of linguistic medium. . .

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    1. I suggested a colon only because K said one was missing. I would probably use a semicolon or a period there, or even a comma and a conjunction like “because.”

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  2. I vote for colon, though semicolon or em-dash would be fine. Em-dash feels a bit too informal. (I’ll see if I can find George Gopen’s explanation of the distinction between semicolons & colons.)

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