Would you rather see dead people? or see floating, despondent punctuation marks?

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“We are like the little boy in The Sixth Sense who can see dead people, except that we can see dead punctuation.” (Truss, 3)


When I read this sentence, and those that immediately followed after, I couldn’t help but relate. I know that I, myself am wont to notice incorrect punctuation and subsequently point it out to others. What to I hear most often in response? Well, it’s more often a look that borders between “Are you serious?!” and “Whatever.” I know I’m not the only one out there who has experienced this all-encompassing phenomenon, and it seems that only English majors feel the need to hone their unique seventh sense in order to better communicate. I’ve passed road signs and had a nasty little smirk cross my face when I read the grammatic errors. I’ve even pointed them out to people in the car while I’m driving, asking “Did you see that? It should have said such and such. They must have run out of space not only on the board, but between their heads as well!” So what can be done in the face of such adversity may you ask? Well, keep on telling others how to fix their grammatical mistakes and maybe one day (hopefully sooner rather than later) they’ll actually catch on.

Stand frim my little computerized minions! I’ll push this button and we’ll win the battle! ...OOPS.

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3 Comments

Angela Palumbo said:

Ha it’s funny, Maddie, you’re talking about “grammatic errors” when it should be grammatical. Just kidding. It happens. What you said in your blog reminds me of someone I know whose name I will omit for the sake of his reputation. I have to constantly correct his spoken English. Yes, I know that all people say things that are grammatically incorrect when they speak. An example of this is “Me, Molly and Christine are going to dinner.” Of course it should be “Molly, Christine and I are going to dinner.” I have to admit I’m guilty of this one. This mystery person will say words like “moneys” and “Where is you goin’?” I am a bit more reserved that Truss but if you’re really looking to piss me off quick, this is how to do it. Yet, when I used to correct his grammar, I would kindly smile at him and say, “The word money is already plural, thus the “s” in not needed.” or “Where ARE you going?” I’ve said these things enough now to say, “When you talk like that you sound stupid!”

Katie Vann said:

I'm actually recommending this book to my younger sister and a few friends so they won't struggle with punctuation (or hopefully not as much). I think a book like this would make a great addition to a high school English class curriculum, especially if students could read it before taking the state tests.

Kayley Dardano said:

I wrote about the same thing in my blog, but I tend to be the person who over looks those types of errors. That could be the reason none of my writing seems to make sense to anyone but me. I feel guilty and I need to be better than that. After reading this part of the book I found it quite funny when reading the way the meaning of a peace of writing changes with the punctuation. I already new that it changed it but it was interesting to see examples.

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This page contains a single entry by MadelynGillespie published on March 27, 2008 11:47 PM.

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