Re: all punctuation secondary

From: Steven Cox (
Date: Fri Apr 03 1998 - 08:19:16 EST

        Hi Jim
        Philosophy of translation time?? :-)
        Sorry to pick up on your pithy mail but I beg to differ.

At 06:49 98/04/03 -0500, Jim West wrote:
>All punctuation is secondary.

        I'd certainly agree that in the context of reading a b-Gk
        text and understanding it in b-gk it is at least tertiary.

        However in rendering into English why should punctuation
        be secondary? Punctuation is simply one of the dimensions
        of expression available to the translator that compensate
        for having lost such dimensions as case inflection.

        One could argue that English folk don't use punctuation when
        they speak so it must be secondary defacto, but spoken
        and written English are not the same thing and in the
        latter different mechanisms prevent ambiguity - of which
        punctuation is one of the most basic - and therefore a
        part and parcel of the finished translation as much as
        the lexical and syntactical choices.

>Therefore, all punctuation is tendentious and tenuous and theological.

        Let's admit that every facet of all translation of religious
        texts has the *potential* to become tendentious and tenuous and
        theological :-(


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