Thursday, July 23, 2009


Punctuation and I have a love-hate relationship. I love all those cute little marks that help me express myself and they hate me by misbehaving and being elusive, never really revealing their inner feelings. I get slightly annoyed by this.

But this is the information age, and I can look up practically anything. I look it up. I still get it wrong. Sigh.

Spelling? I can spell anything. I don't even need the spell checker. Why can't there be a comma, semi-colon and apostrophe checker? That would be ever more useful in my little world. I found a few on the internet, but I'll paste something in there for it to, find a misplaced comma in the middle of the sentence - one that is very obvious like the last one - and it does not catch it.

So I'm left to look it up, and submit pieces that people will then tell me are punctuated incorrectly. I look it up again, and sometimes they are right, and sometimes they are WRONG. Matter of fact, they will even say "I prefer an em-dash to a semi-colon."

Oh yeah? Well, I don't. How's that. English is a bear of a language. I just can't spend all my energy learning the rules to that extent. But I hate it when I get conflicting critiques.

I think I'll just learn to say "thank you, but I've decided to do that on purpose for a style choice." When can I do that? After I'm published? After I have the Masters of Fine Arts that I'm never going to get? How about now? Now sounds good to me.

My dad used to insist that he didn't care if I ever got a degree, just that I was well-educated. I think I'm pretty well-educated now, but am finishing the degree for grins. He especially wanted me to be able to read, write, and speak my own language. I think I do that pretty well. Except, of course, according to the Punctuation Professors (I prefer this to Punctuation Nazis, I've heard both).

So, if I mess up, please feel free to inform me of your opinion. I may agree, and I may not. But, I would rather hear about it and have the chance to look it up before I respond. Don't want to be seen as hostile. This long rant about punctuation comes back around to the fact that I want to be able to do it well, with few mistakes.

I'd also like to quit using the word "that" about fifty times a sentence in my un-edited work. That would be nice.


Margaret's Mom

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