alright, this piece about the wild world of punctuation marks has tipped me over the edge. i thought i wasn’t going to write this because i had important fashion news to impart yesterday, but THREE THINGS about punctuation marks in two days have sent me over the tipping point and now i have to blog about it all. of course, now i want interrobangs on my keyboard, who wouldn’t? (read it, go back, quickly. at least open it in a tab so you can refer to it, kthx) i would probably use exclamation commas and question commas all the time, and maybe it’s as well i can’t. a sentence has to stop somewhere. as does a paragraph;
so what else is in the news? WATERSTONES nee WATERSTONE’S, the bookshop has abandoned it’s apostrophe! and it’s part of a wider trend, of course. my friend grace, who is an editor said
“Without the apostrophes guiding hand well all be tottering about, bumping into things and not knowing where were at. Fools!”
which a) she would, she’s an editor, and b) made me feel more attached to the apostrophe, i mean, guiding hand, aw. i hadn’t thought of the apostrophe as being helpy. when i was a teacher, and not of english, i might add, i will admit i used to tell students ‘if in doubt leave it out’ because i could see that the apostrophe was going the way of all things, but more importantly, a redundant apostrophe is WAY more glaring than a missed one. recently @mockduck asked TK MAXX why they had ditched their apostrophe in their MENS and WOMENS signage. she got a reply which makes total sense to me – the designer thought it looked cleaner. harsh, but true.
but there’s more. before either of these articles came to my attention, this article about the comma splice gave me pause. this is because if i had ever learned the finer points of comma splicing and how it IS SO WRONG apparently, then i certainly have allowed it to fade into the mists of time, because i use it all the time. and now that i know that a semicolon is the proper thing i’m just going to go right ahead and keep doing it.
it’s not that i don’t get the argument. i do use commas properly as well as improperly, i think i just am not all that fond of semicolons. does that make me demonic? maybe. and it’s not as though i can’t be pedantic. i am very against anyone playing fast and loose with the oxford comma, for instance. when i was taught it at school, the example given was the phrasing of the act of union, which some scottish pedant RIGHTLY insisted should be listed – i forget the order; england, scotland, and wales – for example, and not; england, scotland and wales. totally different meaning. (look at me using semicolons! i will do, just not for comma splicing, i keep commas handy for that.)
anyway, that’s all the news on the grammar front for now. i think you will agree it is enough to be going on with. and i doubt i will ever write about it again, it’s more @lucysfootball‘s thing than mine. it was fun while it lasted, grammar, but you know i play fast and loose with you and you’ll never be my girl.