Commonplace Book: Entry 2: The Conversation

I mentioned in chapter 1 that we needed to cultivate public subjects who are capable of imagining themselves as situated within many complex networks. Not only are we all located within a specific home-work nexus, but we are also located within regional, national, and global networks. Furthermore, each of us is situated within transhistorical and transspatial networks of place. The choices we make for ourselves have effects on future times and places that do not only parallel our own lives. Thinking through these networks demands an ability to imagine the incongruent and asymmetrical networks within which our agency is lodged.

-“Distant Publics, Development Rhetoric, and the Subject of Crisis,” Jenny Rice

The passage doesn’t follow the “they say/I say” format because she compares her current point to that of the first chapter. As this passage occurs later in the publication, it does not necessarily present an alternative viewpoint.

The built environment is characterized by man-made physical features that make it difficult for certain individuals—often poor people and people of color—to access certain places. Bridges were designed to be so low that buses could not pass under them in order to prevent people of color from accessing a public beach. Walls, fences, and highways separate historically white neighborhoods from historically black ones. Wealthy communities have declined to be served by public transit so as to make it difficult for individuals from poorer areas to access their neighborhoods.

-“Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination And Segregation Through Physical Design Of The Built Environment,” Sarah Schindler

The wealthy communities say that they do not want public transportation service in order to prevent poorer individuals from entering, while I say that this in an unfair way to make it difficult for certain individuals to access the build environment.

This follows the “they say/I say” format because it offers two different points of view in the passage, one from the author and another from a third party.

Commonplace: Entry 1

  • IC. This independent clause culminates in a period. There are several additional options by which to end an independent clause.
  • IC. The state is the most basic unit of the Westphalian System. Some suggest that this may change in the near-future.


  • IC; Much controversy surrounds Guantanamo Bay; many activists allege the presence of human rights violations.
  • IC; Arabic is often construed to use an extremely difficult alphabet; usually it is the result of misunderstanding the number of distinct characters.


If the periods separating the first two independent clauses were to be replaced by a semicolon, it would not alter their mechanical viability. What it will do, however, is create a change in their flow and meaning. For instance, in its present state, the first sentence has a distinct pause between the point that the first clause ends in a period and the next point that suggests there are different ways to end a sentence. This makes it seem portrayed as two entirely different concepts. With a semicolon, the flow between the first and second clauses relates them to each other.

If the semicolons in the last two sets of independent clauses were replaced with periods it would separate the ideas and portray them as being entirely distinct of the other. For instance, in the third set, a period would portray the controversy surrounding Guantanamo Bay is distinct from the claims of human rights violations. While the mechanics are valid in both forms, it alters the meaning that the reader receives.