Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Punctuation Soapbox

Since when has the *...* replaced the “...”? I’m seeing it a lot, so I suspect it’s some sort of trend, but it’s wrong! Not only is it wrong, but the context in which it is being used is often incorrect, also. I’m seeing statements such as, “What is *wrong* with people using stars instead of the real quote symbols?” It isn’t cute, so please stop doing it. If you see someone using such abominable punctuation, forward them a copy of this request. Maybe we can stamp out this bad practice before it gets too out of hand.

Now, on to the apostrophe. It’s really easy: possessive is not the same as plural. They have nothing to do with each other. They are not even in the same family. They never get together for dinner, they do not exchange gifts at the holidays, in fact, they don’t really even like each other, and would never agree to be substituted for one another. So, why do we see them taking each other’s places so often? Think about it!!!! Seen recently at a Bed and Bath Store: All Linen’s 25% Off. I really wanted to go in the store and ask the manager what is was that Linens owned that was on sale.

Unless you are e.e. cummings, use capital letters at the beginning of a sentence. Use them when you are supposed to use them. You know when and how, I just know you do. If it's some sort of trademark you think you’ve discovered, you haven't. You’re several years behind, so give it up and get with the program. It makes me want to scream when I see "i" instead of "I." In fact, when I was typing this on my WordPerfect program, it automatically corrected me when I left an "i" alone. You see? This is what I’m talking about.

I am not the only person who is irritated by this careless punctuation. There has recently been a bestseller about this very issue. There are other bloggers who complain about this, too. Of course, we all make mistakes when writing, and we don’t always have time to read for typos, but we can ALL pay a little more attention to what makes effective communication and what makes us look like big dummies.

That's all I'll say about this topic for now. Once in a while I simply have to get this off my chest. Do any of you feel this way about punctuation? Or anything? Is there one thing in particular that really sets your teeth on edge? Tell me!

14 comments:

candee said...

*i* think you should be an editor to a newspaper or magazine or something. I am one of those people you speak of dear Nesser, and I (didja notice?), I will be the first to say that it's nothing else other than pure laziness on my part. I am one of those who look at my fingers still when I type and it slows me down to search for the shift key. So now you have shamed me into thinking when I type now, it slows me down, thanks alot cuz!!

Crazy MomCat said...

I'm a kindred spirit to you, Vanessa. I'm a technical writer/editor by profession (before I stayed home), and the daughter of an English teacher and granddaughter to a grammar-loving Grandma.

The one that drives me crazy right now is:
This. One. Where. People. Punctuate. Every. Freaking. Word.

ARGH! I understand it is for emphasis, but please stop it! That said, I make my share of mistakes quite often. Oh, I also bought my Mom that book and she loved it!

Angela in Europe said...

People who don't bathe or use deodorant bother me.

DebbieDoesLife said...

Yes, it bothers me but only when its someone else doing it. Not me.

I get in a hurry and make errors every now and then. I guess I have different standards for different venues. Emails? They can be a little sloppy. Blogs? Each to his own.

Vanessa said...

Did anyone else see the "its" instead of "it's" in the first line of the previous comment?? Wasn't I JUST TALKING ABOUT SUCH ERRORS??????

Princess Nicole said...

I am afraid to even respond to this one. How do you feel about smiley faces made out of the punctuation marks? LOL

Heatheranne said...

Here's what bothers me. When people misuse "and I". They're trying to be proper by saying something like "Mom brought food for Sally and I" BUT it should be "Mom brought food for Sally and me." See where I'm going with this? If you remove "Sally" would the sentence make sense? "Mom brought food for I." No! That's stupid.

Thanks. I feel better now that I've vented.

Angela in Europe said...

Alot bothers me too. I hate it. It is a lot, not alot.

DebbieDoesLife said...

That wasn't very nice.

Daphne_Blue said...

I'm LOL at this post. There are a lot of points that you bring up that bother me, too, but I'm guilty of using * for emphasis instead of italics. Like I *so* know what you mean. :D LOL

Vanessa said...

For the record, I apologized to Debbie. Shame on me and I'm really sorry, Debbie!

Nicole said...

You know that I am a fan of creative punctuation, so I don't let the *...* bother me. I hate misplaced apostrophes, hanging prepositions, and people who don't make sense no matter how much punctuation they use. I tend to be pretty liberal with commas. And I heart the semi-colon.

Amanda Sue said...

their R things that bother me to, vanessa, but i just try to *ignore* them and their is a song called "the promise for you and i" and i hate that song!

Julie said...

You should check out http://apostrophecatastrophes.blogspot.com/ -- seems to be your sister in arms in the apostrophe misuse war.