Thursday, May 07, 2009

Dog's Cock...

...or, pernicious punctuation practices! It has come to my attention that my usage of punctuation may be on shaky ground! Stuart Jefferies, writing in the Guardian brings us up to speed on the use of those funny little specks which reside on the periphery of our keyboards! I had to laugh when he focused on the exclamation point, and its apparent resurgence, especially in email! Guilty as charged! (I will usually refrain from using multiples, except for comic effect!!!)

But seriously!

They're fun!

And easy to use!

And everybody knows exactly what they mean!

Unlike those troublesome semicolons; no; not those!

Whenever I ! in an email, it is because I'm really excited to be addressing the recipient! Really! I also like to use them in parentheses when words would fail to express my astonishment at a particularly absurd situation like this article(!) about punctuation.

Stuart's article did have this especially charming story:
The origin of the exclamation mark is uncertain. The first one appeared in print around 1400. The exclamation mark, it has been argued, derives from the Latin Io (which means joy). One day (we hypothesise) somebody wrote a joyful upbeat sentence and to clinch that sense, they concluded it by putting the second letter of Io under the first.

How lovely it would be if we could recapture that original, pre-ironic wonder that made writers slip the o under the I!


As far as my use of that punctuation is concerned: My a¡m is true!

Now about those ellipses...

By Professor Batty



4 Comments:

Blogger Móðir, kona, meyja said...

On the charming subject of the use of multiple exclamation marks, see http://wiki.lspace.org/wiki/Multiple_exclamation_marks


Never fails to put me in a good mood.


Blogger Rose said...

Brennevin!!!! Fresh, delicious fish!!!! Northern Lights!!!!! Hot tubs!!!! Blogging back home so others can travel vicariously!!!!!!


Blogger Cellar Door said...

F. Scott Fitsgerald once said that using an exclamation mark is like laughing at your own joke.

Lol!!!


Blogger Professor Batty said...

K ~ One at a time is plenty for me...

Rose ~ Except when talking about Iceland!!!!

Cellar Door ~ F. Scott never told any jokes!

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