Python is readable

Neil Cerutti neilc at
Mon Mar 19 13:53:23 CET 2012

On 2012-03-19, Steven D'Aprano <steve+comp.lang.python at> wrote:
> On Mon, 19 Mar 2012 11:26:10 +0000, Neil Cerutti wrote:
> [...]
>>> *A major style guide for general American writing and
>>> publication: used by some as the 'Bible'.
>> Thanks for the discussion and corrections. My apologies to
>> Steven for pushing my apparnetly overly narrow view. There are
>> plenty of valid use cases for a colon without an independent
>> clause.
> No apology necessary, I like a good argument :)
> One observation that amuses me though... it seems to me that
> the widespread practice of people writing colons following
> sentence fragments isn't sufficient to convince you that this
> is grammatical, but a self- declared authority prescribing it
> as allowed is. That makes you a grammar prescriptivist :)

There are certain uses of colon that are worse than others, in my
mind. It's a matter of taste, and that's going to be impossible
to find references for.

My birthday cake had three kinds of frosting: chocolate, vanilla
and raspberry.

I checked only one reference before diving in
(, but it's a guide that concentrates
on presenting yourself well through widely acceptable grammar.
It's not an exhaustive taxonomy of all valid usages. So I looked
in the wrong place.

I still think sentence fragments before a colon introducing a
list often looks bad, and may be taken for an error. But it
doesn't always look bad, and I didn't think about it enough.

> We're-all-a-little-bit-prescriptivists-when-it-comes-to-grammar-ly y'rs,

Yep: my clever usage is another's abomination.

Neil Cerutti

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