Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Punctuation Day

According to one of the writers I enjoy, today is National Punctuation Day.
alphaDictionary * Free English On-line Dictionary

I like using words that mean more than one thing, but using punctuation in a manner that can cause a sentence to be read in more than one way just tickles my funnybone. One evening this week a friend asked me for some examples of sentences that could be read more than one way. That got me started again.

Seething, the cook threw the steaks back on the grill. Without the comma, we are about to do violence to the cook.

A note left for the secretary: Please retype all the letters, which are incorrect, in my office. Oh boy! Those commas mean that we can, or probably should, throw out the clause "which are incorrect." That leaves: "Please retype all the letters in my office." Sitting here shaking my head and remembering the dress code handbook for a school in Indiana: No clothes, which are distracting, may be worn to school. Oh boy! and watch out for campus security. I hope that they have a good supply of blankets for covering up all those distracting little lambs or limbs. Big evil grin.....

Most people who have had advanced English or even an English teacher with a sense of humor have seen this one: Woman without her man is nothing. It could be written: Woman without her man, is nothing. OR Woman: without her, man is nothing. Another grin here....

Punctuation marks have names. Bet you didn't know that unless you were a keyboarding or an English teacher. Dr. Beard says that we haven't given a name to the @ sign yet. In some countries they call it an elephant trunk, a cat's tail, a monkey's tail, or some other name associated with a critter. I don't care that it originated with the grave accent over the French A. It gets my e-mail where it is going. But my imagination is now piqued and ready to begin playing with ideas for a new name. Look at it again. @ I have seen belly buttons on babies that looked a bit like that. The French can have their escargot or some other snail. It could even be a pill bug (sow bug to some). Still thinking....

Well, maybe I can sleep on it. After all, it looks a little like one of my grandchildren's bed covers--all balled up.

Maybe someone else will have some ideas. I am open for (SOME) suggestions.

1 comment:

Lance said...

Let’s eat, mommy.
Let’s eat mommy.

Quality service and attention to detail.
Quality, service, and attention to detail.

Don’t use commas, which are not necessary.
Don’t use commas which are not necessary.

Giant moving, sale Friday
Giant moving sale Friday

I pilfered those from another web site.