A Pause For Punctuation
Exclamation Marks: Why do so many people (especially women) feel the need to use them so much? Too many people use them too often! And way too many!!! At the end of every sentence!!!!! It seems to me, the more confident a person is with what they’re writing, the less they need to validate their thoughts with exclamation marks. I think it’s like shouting. Someone who is confident about their thoughts on a given matter has no need to raise their voice. When we yell, we are often simply trying to prove—to ourselves as well as to others—just how correct we are. The world can do with fewer exclamation marks!!!
Apostrophes (and other irritants): This isn’t hard. I’ll lay it out here for you:
Your: YOUR home is next door.
You’re: YOU ARE home.
There: My home is over THERE.
Their: THEIR home is next door.
They’re: THEY ARE going home.
Its: ITS home is in a tree.
It’s: IT IS not in a tree.
Parent’s: Possessive for ONE PARENT.
Parents’: Possessive for BOTH PARENTS.
50s: A time, or age, as in BEING IN MY 50s ISN’T SO BAD. Resist the temptation to insert an apostrophe.
Ellipses: Using more than the standard three dots does not add more significance to the thought that you’re trying to articulate. It’s puzzling the way some people feel the need to use a long string of them……………………… Three should be sufficient…
Commas: There is no need to add commas, where they do not, belong. A comma, is, like a breath, or space, in what you are writing. When in doubt, leave it out. You’ll piss off fewer people that way. Seriously, I confess that commas are my worst writing habit. Because I read a lot of 18th century literature, I tend to over-use them, but I’m learning. Bless Deni for her help back in 1995 concerning comma splices.
I’m not going to get into colons, semi-colons and all that, because most people on the internet don’t use them anyway. Besides, misuse of those isn’t as irritating to me.
Labels: The Craft