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March 22, 2006

No Compromise

Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves 3 -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

“It is sad to think people are no longer learning how to use the colon and semicolon, not least because, in this supreme QWERTY keyboard era, the little finger of the human right hand, deprived of its traditional function, may eventually dwindle and drop off from disuse”(130).

This is true. Truss really makes a good argument that colons and semicolons are not common knowledge to use “middle-class” folk. Honestly, until I got to college I misused them frequently when I used them at all. In this chapter she is once again keeping the heavy punctuation issue light with her one-liners and her wise cracks. I’ll say it again; it’s really enjoyable to read.”

On page 110 she makes a good argument about why semicolons are nearly extinct in modern periodicals. She says, “The semicolon has currently fallen out of fashion with newspapers, the official reason being that readers of newsprint prefer their sentences short, their paragraphs bite-sized and their columns of type uncluttered by wormy squiggles.” I see her point. In today’s fast-pace society, people want shortened information that they can read quickly and understand while riding in a bumpy taxi or in the elevator. It seems like punctuation and language itself is constantly evolving and taking form of whatever society needs communication to be.

As I said before, I like Truss’s comedy however I think that the example with Kerry-Anne was a little overboard. She was 16 years old and there’s no need to write a professional letter to a pen-pal. The way you write it shows part of you. I wouldn’t have written back to that stuck-up Truss either. But I guess that’s why she’s good. No compromise.

Posted by AndrewLoNigro at March 22, 2006 02:23 PM

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Comments

Amen! She is quite a punctuation Nazi, but I think it's because she knows too much for her own good. I looked in the paper and I really never see much punctuation beyond a . within it.

Posted by: Erin Waite at March 22, 2006 03:27 PM

LoNigro, I agree on the point that I once was horrible at using the colon and semicolon. "The way you write it shows part of you." This is very true, writing is expressing your personality, your emotions through keyboards, nouns, verbs and punctuation. I feel that the mis-use of these two particular punctuation marks shows your inabiliy to write a well-written essay or paper.

Posted by: Denamarie Ercolani at March 22, 2006 09:44 PM

The part about keeping sentences short for the newspaper makes alot of sense. Since papers are written at around a 5th grade reading level (I'm sure Dr. Jerz can tell us for sure) most people would probably be totally thrown by the use of the semicolon.

It's better for the papers to just keep it brief and concise. Even if they are slowly killing half of our punctuation marks.

Posted by: Mike Rubino at March 24, 2006 02:24 AM

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