Alethea & Athena (double_dear) wrote,
Alethea & Athena

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Heart marks♥

I'm really not sure what to post about today. It's mostly just the same old stuff--being irritated with the new format and being driven insane by the roommate. That actually sounds really pathetic. Fortunately for us, we have other things to occupy our time so that those things aren't the main focus (except when we're working), but unfortunately, I can't think of a whole lot to write on those.

Other things I've thought about to write on mainly include punctuation. This is how you know I'm a language geek, although I'm sure I could be much more hardcore about it.

The main thing we've been thinking about lately, because we keep seeing it pop up outside of manga, is the lovely heart mark. It's one of our favorite forms of punctuation♥ I don't think a whole lot of Americans think of it as punctuation, though. Maybe it's just that the Japanese don't seem to have had punctuation until very recently. Our theory is that the West came along and said, "But how will we know if you're asking a question if you don't have a question mark!?" Since the Japanese way of making a sentence a question is to add the particle "ka," we figure they didn't really have much use for a question mark in writing.

We think that punctuation in Japan is used more to indicate how a sentence is said or intoned, rather than how it's formed. We always thought that's how it's used in English, too, but then when I talk in run-ons I don't pause as much, so there wouldn't be any commas, but in writing that would be incorrect, so maybe that's not true. Still, when writing dialogue, I think it's probably better to punctuate based on the desired intonation, which is why I'm still adamantly of the opinion that in exclamation point/question mark combinations, the exclamation point should always come first (because you raise the volume of your voice before the pitch).

But anyway, we think that heart marks and music notes are there specifically to indicate how a sentence is intoned, so wouldn't that make them punctuation, too? In Japanese manga, you can see the hearts and music notes are actually included in the line of text, and not used as a decoration floating around the speech bubble, like you normally see in the translated version. That's something that's always kind of bugged us in translated manga. It must be a font thing. Alas.

And that's my essay on heart marks as punctuation, although I guess it's mostly just rambling. Eheh.

Today I'm thankful for heart marks♥, LJ cuts, nine-volt batteries, having Dark Stixx again, and having Pringles.
Tags: language geekiness, rambling


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