Thank you, Miss Merrill

Last weekend, while helping friends pack-house, I found this book:

Wait! Don’t do the math on a book from 1907, and a college student taking Rhetoric in 1924. :)

Instead of packing it, I borrowed the book wondering if this James Sears Baldwin might just be the Baldwin. This is a dry book. But it’s also teaching me a ton about writing. The author hasn’t cracked even the slightest smile in the first 37 pages of this 400+ page tome. But the Baldwin quote I’d love to find within, might just be the sort of pithy thing this author would drop near the end.

Yes, I am willing to read a 400+ page tome on the off chance that I find the quote and get the once-in-a-lifetime thrill of finding an original attribution for a well-known quote. I digress.

By page 30, I had seen a whole bunch these little diagonal marks, but hadn’t really figured out what she was trying to imply.

Then it hit me. Quotes! It’s a diagonal line with a quote on the diagonal line. She’s delineating quotations. I’m guessing that she must have written a paper—who’d expect that in a Rhetoric class, right?—and I bet she came back through and marked the quotation sections. At the same instant that I figured it out, my up-to-then habit of drawing a full line across the page, (often a long line, then up or down a line, and then finish going across, to “cut” in the middle of a line,) seemed dumb.

Thank you Miss Merrill. This looks just way cooler: