Friday, June 15, 2012

Opinion: Necessary 21st Century changes to American English grammar...

Trailing punctuation MUST be written outside quotes

In this technical age, punctuation has consequences. Anything that does not relate the contents of the quoted material should be placed outside of the closing quote. For example:

Please run "rm -rf file."

instead of 


Please run "rm -rf file".

will result in an error if "file." does not exist. However if the file "file." does exist, it will be deleted instead. This unintended deletion could have bad consequences.

Or,

Tell him, "Please run ls -l mydocument.doc."

will fail if you meant


Tell him, "Please run ls -l mydocument.doc".

resulting a frustrated computer user.

Computers are too literal to keep using archaic 19th century punctuation standards.