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Lynne Truss, in her NY Times bestseller Eats, Shoots and Leaves, mentions a poll she took outside of a theatre, which essentially asked

Do you fully punctuate text messages?

Out of curiousity, I'd like to extend the question to all of my fellow bloggers. So, how about it? Do you find yourself meticulously placing commas, periods, and other literary wonders in your instant messages? Or do you streamline everything you write, making "instant messaging" as close to instantaneous as possible? Maybe you don't use instant messages at all, but even if you do, here's another question: do you fully punctuate elsewhere on the net (blogs, e-mails, etc.)?

Myself, I prefer to add proper punctuation in practically everything I write: instant messages, blog entries, e-mails, notes, etc. I suppose it makes sense, considering that I'm an English major; I'm one of those "sticklers" that Truss mentions.

I am not that surprised that grammar in Britain is, as Truss mentions, nearly (or perhaps even more frequently) abused. I keep in touch with some British friends who are as neglectful of it as most of my American friends. Sometimes, we moderate our spelling of certain words to accomodate both British and American tastes, too; for instance, "color" becomes "colo(u)r".

(Oh, and despite what Vanessa may sometimes claim about being a "grammar nazi", she often neglects grammar in her IMs. Don't let her fool you.)


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I'd say yes, Dr. Jerz. it is time.

Amanda--I guess I forgot to add that part. I apologize.

I do tend to use puncuation more often than not; mainly because I am an online roleplayer and aspiring writer.

Truss is adopting an attitude designed to sell books. Her book actually has plenty of mistakes... later I'll ask the class to read a rather scathing review of her book, and invite responses.

Hats off to bloggers who proofread; it really is great practice. There are formal and informal contexts for communication. When the context is informal, the rules are lax, and that's fine. I know blogging is more informal than print. It's okay to develop the skill to switch contexts when necessary.

Having said that... I wonder whether it's time to install the MovableType spell-check plugin...

Let's get some things clear: I do not hate all men's sports. I just despise writing about them. Also, as I said before, I do lapse sometimes, but I return to correct punctuation, etc. primarily because I always have the audience in mind.

I do concede that the people you may be talking with, Lou, may understand what you are saying, but at the same they may be saying to themselves, "What the heck does "GTGTSHU" (Got-to-go-to-SHU) mean? Just an example. I am not a stickler, but I think that clarity is the most important thing, especially in IM when you cannot see the other person's face. One misspelling, one missing comma, and disaster may ensue.

I didn't mean to insult you, Amanda, just when I get passionate about something, my anger tends to flare too. I apologize.

What I meant, Amanda, is that if you dont like the way some people type, dont talk to them. It goes along with the freedom of expression thing (though with Bush as president, its likewhat freedoms?) Sort of like your hatred for men's sports, but we won't go there.

It's like the older generation saying my metallica or nirvana was "too loud". Sure, I dont use "perfect" grammer when I IM someone, but that hasnt translated into my writing. I still know where to put a coma, or a semicolon; its just a matter of separating the real life from the IMing life.

I can't stand people that nit-pick for some idiotic reason. People use bad grammar all the time, put its no reason to call them satanists (as Tuss did) or to make STUPID wisecracks about needing a dictionary.

It also doesnt help anyones credability as whatever they are, when they can't see that society has progress, yes I said progress, past Shakespeare's grammar to something completely different. its the year 2005, people use "u" for you, "r" for are; and "4" for four or for. It makes it simplier when talking to your friends. Doesnt mean an intelligent person would use that as an excuse to be lazy in their writing.

Whoa, Lou.

It's not about me being too old (because I am not--still a teen); it is about the way I express myself. Thought and clarity are NEVER bad things.

My opinion of losing IQ points is an opinion. I don't apologize that I obviously hurt your bad grammar sensibilities. If you are IMing people all the time with bad grammar and spelling, you can let it ooze into your "good" writing. I do not encourage that. Why would anyone want their IQ to drop? ;-)

And I won't take you up on the IMing proposition. I would need the handbook of teen lingo that I prescribed in my earlier comment. I don't like to put myself through that when I am supposed to be having fun. And I don't fight for fun anymore--it is just too exhausting.

It may bring the persons IQ down, Amanda, but welcome to the 21st century; I believe their was a copy that used the slogan "Either your in or you'll old".

Well that applies here; in the age of computers and IMing, and emails your either in with the improper grammar and the slack in spelling, or your too old to do it.

Bottom Line.

If anyone would like to argue with me, my AIM SN is LouisGagliardi21. Best time to catch me is either early morning, late afternoon, or between 3-4:30 on Mondays and 12-1:30 Wed and Fri. Thanks

Hey, I have a reputation to uphold. A certain "image" if you will. I don't need you messing it up...haha.

I have been berated by friends and my IM writing style. I -have- to capitalize and punctuate. And edit before I press 'enter'.

Though I sometimes slip up, especially if it is with a pal I talk to all the time, I invariably return to my capital letters and commas, not to mention my favorite mark: the semi-colon.

I think the reason I punctuate is to keep my mind gramatically sharp (Setonian practice), and because it is "me" to write that way.

Another thing: I despise IMing where you have to get a dictionary of teenage abbreviations to understand what the other person is saying. It takes the person's IQ down a few points every time I read things like this: http://www.eyewitnessnewstv.com/Global/story.asp?S=2535490&nav=RkeVSs57

Aw, c'mon... I was only kidding around. I doubt that anyone uses proper grammar *ALL* the time... I know I sure don't.

Thanks a lot Chris. Reveal my dirty secret. Last time I entrust you with anything. God forbid I rest once and awhile and just type without having to reach over and hit the 'Shift'. At least I do well with my blog entries and comments, hm?

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