Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Business Expo 2016 Visit

This year's HVCC business expo was held at Westpac Stadium in Wellington. This was the largest venue yet for the expo. There was certainly more room for the expo at the stadium, though it can be a bit difficult to work out the entrance to the stadium for pedestrians. The rainy weather also made it a bit unpleasant to get to the stadium.

Once inside, there were 134 stalls, with plenty of draws and fun games for prizes. A number of the stalls were reflecting changes in the times. One stall, for example, was for a company that offered P testing services; the horrors of homes that have been used for P manufacturing are now making their mark all right. And changes in technology were also manifest; the star of the show at one stall was a robot. Most likely people would forget the stall and what it would sell, but they would remember the robot. The robot was a very popular photo opportunity, as was the Balloon Biz Mickey Mouse balloon sculpture outside the door. You could even get your photo taken with Mickey Mouse.

Some of the businesses I saw included catering, courier, gym, printing, accounting, website design, legal advice, accounting, security, civil defence, gardening, banking, business consulting, HR services, trademark creation, IT, iPhone services, pest control and Payroll. Politics also made its way in; I saw the Upper Hutt City Council and National Party having stalls there. I was a bit surprised at the absence of some businesses, such as travel agents. However, there were some new businesses that looked impressive, such as Just Plants, which can redesign your work spaces to make them more green and healthy with plant decor.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Wellington Region Business Expo 2016

The 2016 Wellington region Business Expo is going to be held on Tuesday, 20th September. This year it is going to be in Wellington itself, rather than in the Hutt Valley, and will be held at the Westpac Stadium. The Expo is going to have seminars, competitions, prize draws, networking, lots of business stalls, business breakfast, and it's all going to run from 9am to 7pm.

Quotation Mark Rules and the Legacy of Typsetting

I recently found this fascinating story of a legacy of typesetting that still creates a difference between American and British punctuation. Proofreaders have to stay mindful of it when dealing with American conventions.

In the past, compositors (people who lay out printed material with type) found that the small pieces of type would not break off the end of a sentence, so the full stops (periods in the US) and commas would not break off either. For this reason they made the rule that made the rule that full stops and commas had to be placed inside quotation marks. This rule became the convention for how to place commas and full stops in regard to quotation marks.

Then, in the 1900s the Fowlers Brothers campaigned for full stops and commas to be placed outside quotation marks, except for direct speech. This was so the grammar rules would follow logic rather than typesetting convenience. This new rule was adopted for UK English. Its advantage is that placing the full stops and commas outside quotation marks makes it clear that what is inside the quotation marks is a quote or highlighted word and not direct speech.

However, the US did not adopt the rule change. So to this day, UK English follows the rule that full stops and commas go outside quotation marks except in direct speech e.g. “That movie was terrible,” said Mark. But US English, they still go inside.

For example:

(US English) I can never remember how to spell “ecstasy.”
(UK English) I can never remember how to spell “ecstasy”.

This rule applies only to full stops and commas. In both UK and US English all other punctuation, such as semicolons, colons and dashes, always go outside quotation marks. Moreover, some American-based conventions, such as the APA reference style, have adopted the UK rule of full stops and commas outside quotation marks in order to differentiate highlighted words and quotes taken from sources from direct speech.