Stuff My Stocking With Punctuation',."!" (Please?)
utilize punctuation doesn't mean I'm not affectionate toward it. Oh my, how I love punctuation. I love it like I love pepper. Just sprinkle a bit here and there and alacazaam!!! It instantly adds flavor, flair and spice to anything you're eating. Um, reading. (The Eats, Shoots and Leaves lady would have my head on a platter.) (And I know that I make many of you editors and writers occasionally cringe as well.) (You're welcome.)
If I were to rank my favorite forms of punctuation ....I'd have to vote for... the ellipse... so reminiscent of pepper... that it truly takes my breath away............. .... achoo ...... that's my breath... going ... away....
- the dash- although- I really have no clue about the difference between- an m--dash and an n-dash- and how---by the way-- are either of these different from the subtraction symbol- which is also good when you want to tell someone it's- well, below freezing- or perhaps that their bank account is now in the negative numbers--- ah, dashes--- we all love dashes!
and parentheses. They're so cool. (And I always have some kind of sidebar conversation I want to have that really doesn't pertain to what we're talking about.) (So I use a lot of parentheticals.) (And they also remind me of bookends. Keeping everything neat and contained on the shelf. Goodness knows I need a little order and containment around here.)
The other day the kids and I were reading poetry and I found this little gem. (This guy is better at pepper punctuation than I am!) (Truly impressive.)
So here's my stuffer for your grammatical stocking this year.
- John Ciardi
Of all the fleas that ever flew
(And flying fleas are rather few
((Because for proper flying you
(((Whether you are a flea or not)))
Need wings and things fleas have not got)) )--
(I make the further point that fleas
Are thick as these parentheses
((An illustration (((you'll agree)))
Both apt and pleasing to a flea)) ) --
Now then where were we? Let me see--
Ah, yes. --We said to fly you ought
(Whether you are a flea or not)
To have some wings (yes, at least two
((At least no less than two will do
(((And fleas have something less than one
((((One less, in fact (((((or, frankly, none)))))
((((((Which, as once more you will agree))))))
Limits the flying of a flea)))) ))) )) ).
And let me add that fleas that fly
Are known as Flears (You can see why.)
All I have said thus far is true.
(If it's not clear, that's up to you.
((You'll have to learn sometime, my dear,
That what is true may not be clear
(((While what is clear may not be true
((((And you'll be wiser when you do.)))) ))) )) )