Romancing the Comma

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Today’s Daily Post asks us to consider punctuation. To do that, I must also consider words. And I love words.  I love to read them, write them, and type them. I love to ingest them, rolling them around on my tongue, feeling their edges, tasting their sweetness, pain or bitterness. Swallowing them, feeling them.

Words have tremendous power, whole laws have been created to protect words and protect against words. But unless a sentence is well crafted, unless it is properly punctuated, words can become listless.

In our technology driven society, we have lost some of the formality of punctuation. Sentences are fragmented, even reduced to a few letters. Emphasis is indicated by a plethora of exclamation marks or all caps.

A part of me likes the shorthand, it’s concise and quick. But the part of me that romanticizes language is already starting to mourn the loss of an art form.

In my own writing, I overuse commas, listing things a lot. I’m still shaky on the use of semi-colons, but brave enough to insert them where it feels right. I favor dashes over parentheses, and I’ve been known to employ the … Exclamation marks rarely make their way onto the page unless it’s in dialog or a really strong point I’m trying to make. But overall I’m a huge fan of proper punctuation.

Punctuation slows the reader down, allowing them to observe their thoughts about what they’re reading; enchanting them with their own imagination. It’s the magic of the written word to evoke so many emotions that keeps me reading and for that, we need good old fashioned punctuation.

3 thoughts on “Romancing the Comma

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