Punctuation, Or The Lack Of….

In reading the books of King James New Testament I’ve noticed that the sentence following a question mark always begins with a small case letter. I’ve not been able to learn why, not even those who profess to have high English degrees can furnish a satisfactory answer. So I took to the Internet. The truth is always found there. Right? :-/

In my quest I unearthed more questions than answers.

Cormac McCarthy states that a properly written manuscript requires only an upper case letter and the beginning of a sentence and a period at the end. Nothing else, ever, and pointed out that James Joyce was somewhat in agreement. Oprah stated that while reading one of Cormac’s books she came across a colon. He didn’t have a very satisfactory response how that slipped into the text.

After that pause my search took a hard right turn into the works of James Joyce. There are those who claim his book Ulysses is the most important book of his century. I was taken aback with Joyce’s use of a double hyphen (–) in place of quotation marks. To further complicate a paragraph, he doesn’t insert another hyphen pair when his dialog interrupted. It’s not hard to follow. It’s just awkward. There is breaking rules and then there is breaking rules.

I thrown my hands up in search for answers to these strange deviations in punctuation. I don’t know where else to look or who to ask.

When JFK was president it was said he could read a novel cover-to-cover in one evening and tell you what he read. They didn’t mention Ulysses. Ulysses would be a rather jerky evening I would imagine.

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