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I found an acronym for the word STUDY online. However, the punctuation looks amiss.

It reads

Simply — to understand, devote yourself!

But I think the dash makes no sense here. Am I right?

Shouldn't it be

Simply: to understand, devote yourself!

or even

Simply... to understand - devote yourself!

  • I really hate these sorts of bacronyms, but that's a personal preference. :-) – jbeldock Mar 20 '13 at 17:50
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    Simply has to be seen here as a pragmatic marker relating to the whole of the rest of the maxim. It can be used more restrictively (Is it enough simply/just to phone?), but here 'modifies' the whole statement. It is short for 'To put it simply' or 'Putting it in simple terms', but would look strange with just a comma to offset it. The dash or the colon work better. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 20 '13 at 17:53
  • Ah yes, it is a bacronym . . Hmmm why the hate ;-) – Adam Hollinger Mar 20 '13 at 17:54
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    Just to add to @EdwinAshworth's explanation, if "Simply" were fleshed out a bit more to be more grammatical, you'd no longer have your acronym. Of course your question was about punctuation - I agree with Edwin's explanation there too, the dash is the best, if you need to use "simply" that way. – Kristina Lopez Mar 20 '13 at 21:16
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    Bacronyms indicate less good English. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 21 '13 at 14:12
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"Simply has to be seen here as a pragmatic marker relating to the whole of the rest of the maxim. It can be used more restrictively (Is it enough simply/just to phone?), but here 'modifies' the whole statement. It is short for 'To put it simply' or 'Putting it in simple terms', but would look strange with just a comma to offset it. The dash or the colon work better." – Edwin Ashworth

I would go with dash too.

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