Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ellipse . . . The punctuation mark not the movie

While watching Contagion tonight one of the characters made the comment that, "Blogging is not writing.  It is just graffiti with punctuation."  (The movie sucked by the way.)

I am not sure if I want to take offense to that statement or not.  It shocked me a little and then made me giggle.  Regardless of whether it is "writing" or not according to the above statement it is still an art form.  And with that I begin my rant about punctuation, proper English and how much it irritates me some days to read Facebook statuses. 

So this may seem weird but I have a favorite punctuation mark.  I am sure the average person does not consider punctuation as fondly, but for some reason I do.  Perhaps it is because I know how to use it, unlike many of my peers.  As the title of this blog suggests, the ellipse is my favorite punctuation mark.  It is certainly not the comma.  While I know the rules for comma use, I just hate editing to make sure they are all there.  I have a tendency to miss them while writing since my thoughts are often flowing fast than I can get them on screen.  But I do love ellipses.  Looking back at blogs I wrote in college I can see I overused the punctuation mark to the point of obnoxiousness.  So my goal this time around is to not achieve that same level of obnoxious.  So why my fascination with the ellipse you ask? Well I think it has to do with its mystery, intrigue and anticipatory nature.  It says this woman has something very profound and intersting to say and is going to keep us on the edge of our seats just a moment longer.  The problem is that while I think what I have to say is interesting and exciting, I doubt my audience would agree.  So I must limit my use of ellipses.  But what I found myself doing then is using exclamation points instead.  The exclamation point  comes in a close second to the ellipse on my scale of favorite punctuation.  But not everything I say is in need of that much enthusiasm and those I must force myself to default to the boring old period. 

If you are still reading and have not closed this window due to boredom then I will tell you that it drives me utterly insane when I read "friends" Facebook statuses that lack any and all concern for proper English.  I have no qualms against occasional use of slang.  I often use slang when writing Tweets, FB posts or blogs.  But at the same time I show a clear understanding of complete sentence structure, correct punctuation usage and spelling.  I cannot stand to read statuses from peers that attended the same school as I did, and yet, cannot spell correctly or use proper grammar on FB.  In fact, I have the urge to delete them so that I do not have to look at the travesties they post all over their walls.  Maybe this pet peeve of mine started in college.  I did spend two years living with an English major!  But who knows.

Proper sentence structure and grammar usage was even a requirement for me when dating.  I did a lot of online dating over the years, before I met my husband. (Yes, I know I said a lot.  Insert whatever gratuitous comment you would like there.)  One of the most basic requirements when I was looking at dating profiles, was if they typed complete sentences.  I could tell after just a few conversations if I was going to be able to stand a guy in person just based on whether or not he knew proper English.  My husband clearly has a strong grasp on the subject and we can carry on intelligent conversations.  I do often correct his grammar though much to his dismay.  One thing Andy does do though that drives me up the wall is text talk.  I understand and encourage the need to shorten sentences while texting.  That is not a practice I take offense to.  I do take offense when my husband feels the need to say things like IKR or STFU instead of the actual words.  At first he did it out of a bad habit he picked up from playing WoW, but now he does it just because he knows it irritates the shit out of me. 

Well if I haven't bored you to death by now, I am done ranting about the English language.  

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