You know, if you had told me that I would be snorting with laughter at a book about grammar and punctuation over spring break, not only would I have looked upon you with derision, I might have, thrown, a few extra commas into my sentence just to piss ya, off.
While I do think that Lynne Truss, author of "Eats, Shoots & Leaves", (look, ma, it's the British punctuation!) may, well, spend an inordinate amount of her free time worrying about punctuation errors in society - she seems to hold an especial grudge towards those greengrocers of yore - I can certainly see her point:
She writes, "... what happens when [punctuation] isn't used? Well, if punctuation is the stitching of language, language comes apart, obviously, and all the buttons fall off."
It's true that punctuation is something that many writers never give a second thought. Toss a sentence out there with no discernible punctuation, however, and you've got yourself trouble. I'll admit it - when I heard we were reading a book on punctuation for class, well, I got a case of the shudders - flashbacks to junior high English classes, diagramming sentences on the chalkboard filled my mind.
Ms. Truss continues, "The reason to stand up for punctuation is that without it there is no reliable way of communicating meaning. Punctuation herds words together, keeps others apart."
I'm very big on communicating meaning; therefore, I should pay attention to punctuation. Thanks to Lynne Truss, I have certainly gained a new appreciation for that most over-worked symbol: the apostrophe! Poor little guy!
Finally, I enjoyed the idea of guerilla punctuation gurus running around the country fixing grammatically-incorrect signs in the still of the night. That's a nice heart-warming image.
Oh, I get it... Panda-ring. Ha, ha.Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at March 8, 2005 09:49 AM
Hah! Well... Lynne Truss I am not, I guess ;c)Posted by: moira at March 8, 2005 11:05 AM