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June 24, 2004


C. S. Froning

Jane Austen is a good example of an author who used punctuation in service to style: she made more and better use of the semi-colon and especially the em-dash than any other author I can think of.

From Mr. Darcy's letter:

Two offences of a very different nature, and by no means of equal magnitude, you last night laid to my charge. The first mentioned was, that, regardless of the sentiments of either, I had detached Mr. Bingley from your sister; -- and the other, that I had, in defiance of various claims, in defiance of honour and humanity, ruined the immediate prosperity, and blasted the prospects of Mr. Wickham. -- Wilfully and wantonly to have thrown off the companion of my youth, the acknowledged favourite of my father, a young man who had scarcely any other dependence than on our patronage, and who had been brought up to expect its exertion, would be a depravity to which the separation of two young persons, whose affection could be the growth of only a few weeks, could bear no comparison. -- But from the severity of that blame which was last night so liberally bestowed, respecting each circumstance, I shall hope to be in future secured, when the following account of my actions and their motives has been read. -- If, in the explanation of them which is due to myself, I am under the necessity of relating feelings which may be offensive to your's, I can only say that I am sorry. -- The necessity must be obeyed -- and farther apology would be absurd. --

Chan S.

Wonderful comment--thank you!

Chan S.

Excerpt being from Pride and Prejudice, of course. (D'oh!)

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