I could have titled this “The Importance of the Comma”, or “The
Importance of the Apostrophe”, or perhaps even the ‘The
Importance of the Colon”. Usually ‘”The Importance of the Colon” attracts only small audiences and questionable celebration parties. The period gets right to the point and is so … so … so final. Yes, it is once again National Punctuation Month.
To demonstrate the need for good punctuation, I’ll continue the rest of this blog without using any. I’ll pile up the unused hardware below and you can slip them back into place where they belong if it’ll make it any easier to read. Hell, I’ll even throw in a few extra commas in case you like to over-punctuate.
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When I was younger periods were much more important than anything else Each one put an end to a thought Over the years they became less and less of a concern almost always showing up when they were supposed to sort of ascthetically Im sixty-four years old now and rarely think about them anymore
I noticed that there were a lot of times when a period wasnt there and a question mark took its place Those would usually cause me to think Since that was not always a situation I wanted to be in I avoided them whenever possible but inevitably they were around
Commas can really help when used properly For instance The cowboy enjoyed the tryst with his boots on the floor and The cowboy enjoyed the tryst with his boots on the floor can convey very different thoughts Inserted properly the comma can prevent some embarrassment later
Colons and Semi-colons are a good alternative to commas but require a little wider understanding For that reason many people dont use them very often If you are interested in the colon I am sure there are entire books out there that go much deeper into them than I am going to
As you progress you may want exclamation points to emphasize feeling or thought While there are some places where they are inappropriate for me it was always rewarding to find the right places to for them
Slash and back slash not nearly as popular before computers always reminded me of a trek through the jungle Together they are one method for separating the bush and making a clear path for the prize the trophy
The dollar sign indicates an amount of money to pay for something There are often better alternatives like barter and begging that can eliminate the need for purchasing what you want For instance a good bottle of liquor sometimes even a cheap one or box of chocolates can be traded for something you want The dollar is a last resort
Asterisks are used when you are not really sure what you want or how to clearly state it up front In my opinion they are a poor substitute and I seldom use oneThere is nothing really wrong with their doing so however and many people enjoy using them
Though Ive never been to one a punctuation party might be just the thing for group exploration I’m not sure it would become a fad since many people would rather not display their shortcomings in group settings but I think it would be worth a try to host one You might even try a little game of punctuation swapping and see the differences that makesGood punctuation is clearly something that most people appreciate and this is the month to do it Really every month is good for that but it is nice to have one set aside like this where it is encouraged Practice practice practice and you will soon find better and better ways to do it Your efforts will make your work much more enjoyable for others