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The Declaration of Independance- some scholars say we've been reading it wrong.

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The original point of contention is here:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

--- End quote ---

From here:

...the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government...
--- End quote ---

We can see that the dash and capitalisation have no significant effect on the structure as the author wrote. i.e. The author had no clear intention for the dash and initial capitalisation.

So we cannot conclude anything from the capitalisation of the 't' here:

" — T"

Whether or not " — T" begins a new sentence is not knowable. Period.

The question then shifts to the author's use of the dash, "—".

However, this is unlikely to yield anything useful in isolation.

A more prudent look would be to examine writings prior to the time and see how the dash is used as punctuation.

The document is not an isolated event -- it took place during a specific time. Language evolves and changes over time, and we can only expect that the author was educated and practiced the typical conventions (or perhaps an untypicial convention) of that time.

That question is best left to language scholars with a solid linguistic understanding of the written language of the time.

But it doesn't matter as any interpretation will still be abused by the psychotic politicians in our time! :P ;D (I lied above! :P But I do hope to have amused someone out there!)


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