Emotional English

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"Once the poor stepchild of grammar (is that comma OK here?), punctuation will emerge as the Cinderella of the English language" (Truss xi).

I completely agree with that statement.  Society is reaching the point where it is deeming punctuation unneccessary.  How many of you have ever received a punctuated text message?  Well, unless you have received one from me, chances are that you have not gotten very many.

But it has to stop sometime.  We are going to reach a point where we are all so confused by the lack of punctuation in our writing that we will not be able to communicate with each other.  For example: I sometimes find it very hard to chat with people on the internet because I cannot always understand what they are feeling (due to the lack of punctuation).  Here's a sample conversation:

Laurenlikespunctuation17: Hey, Joe.  How are you?

Joehatesgrammar12:  go jump off a cliff

Now, Joe may be a very sarcastic guy and is just trying to be funny, to which I might reply, "lol".  Or, Joe might just be having a bad day and is taking it out on me, to which I might ask, "What's wrong, Joe?"  Or, worst case scenario, Joe hates my guts and is quite literal in his remark, at which point I would sign off and remove Joe from my buddy list.

The problem is that I don't know.

Had he used an exclamation point ("'Go jump off a cliff!"), I might have taken Joe a little bit more seriously.  But alas, I am utterly confused by Joe's comment, so I might just say, "Whatever, Joe.  Your lack of punctuation baffles me."

In the end, punctuation will save us all.  It is not just an indicator of when to stop and pause; it evokes emotion. 

All I know is that Cinderella better get here soon.

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