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Punctuation, HST

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September 24, 2010
How is your punctuation?
Today is national punctuation day in the United States in honour of late New York Times journalist William Safire’s belief that American punctuation is pitiful. While at least one Canadian linguist believes we could benefit from participating, two SFU English professors differ. Clint Burnham says: “I’m not convinced punctuation is any worse now than it was 30 years ago. Different forms, such as texting, are merely different genres of stylization. There is no one correct style.” However, Paul Budra feels strongly that a new method of process writing introduced in the Canadian school system in 1966 is responsible for a steady decline in student writing. “There is no impetus to go back and teach students the basic skills they need because, of course, teachers themselves have not been taught those skills.”

Clint Burnham, 778.782.3438,, twitter: @prof_clinty
Paul Budra, 778.782.4416,, twitter: @PaulBudra (available as of Sept. 27)

HST forum, Sept. 27
SFU public policy experts say a free public HST forum that they’re staging will help voters prepare for the provincial government’s referendum on the fate of the tax and possible MLA recall campaigns. Kennedy Stewart, who will provide new polling information about the profile of anti-HST petition signers, Jon KesselmanDoug McArthur and Nancy Olewiler will host the forum, 7-9:00 p.m. at SFU Vancouver’s Harbour Centre campus. McArthur wants the forum to lead to “a better understanding of how government can go wrong on important policy matters, how the media can do its job well and how initiative legislation works.”

Kennedy Stewart, 778.782.7913,
Doug McArthur, 778.782.5208,


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