I missed out on the date to publish this for the dVerse topic of punctuation, so here it is, tardy as usual!
(for this poem to work, you have to pronounce the name of each punctuation mark that is talked about as a punctuation mark and not merely in use functionally.)
When a guy driving a GMC
swoops into line in front of me
and takes the place I meant to park,
I use an !
While the ,’s made for multi-tasking,
in a sentence meant for asking,
there has to be a ?
lest readers be left in the dark.
An ! is fine
when simply put at end-of-line,
but, too many (quite a fault of mine)
bring out the punctuation narcs
to ban those !!!!!!!!!!
Those abounding in . . .
are labeled punctuation gypsies
because they don’t know when to stop.
So please call in a grammar cop.
I must admit that I am rash
and tend to overuse the —.
What’s more, my editor goes crazy
when I forget or just get lazy.
His eyes bug out, his face goes red
when I make use of – instead.
The . is the simplest mark.
At sentence end it’s meant to park.
It’s always put where it is best
to let the sentence come to rest,
and no one puts it elsewhere lest
the reader is put to the test
to search from clause to clause to clause
to figure out where he can pause.
When I think of rhymes for ,
only strange words like pajama
are what come to mind—or llama—
or words not to the point, like “mama;”
so I’ll just say the Oxford ,
is like the Tea Party to Obama.
If his (and my) advice is heeded,
it will be clear that they’re not needed!!!
The purpose of the ’
is as clear as it can be:
Judy’s car or Judy’s house,
Judy’s dog or Judy’s spouse.
Yet, when the pronoun enters in,
it is the biggest grammar sin
to use apostrophes for possession
(although I’ll make this hard confession
that often I, unthinkingly,
will write it’s where it never fits.)
It’s in possession should be its!)
“It’s” only used as a contraction.
(It’s a faction, but not it’s faction.)
I think I may conduct a poll on
: versus ;
Which one separates two clauses,
signaling those longer pauses;
and which one signifies a list?
I’m sure that you have got the gist
of which is which—where each should go
to end this punctuation woe.
( ) mark an aside, much as a—might do,
Like “ ”, they’re paired. You always must use two.
Which brings us to the – that joins a compound word.
You never put a space in. To do so is absurd.
You should not use it as a dash with spaces on each side.
That is an antique usage that I simply can’t abide.
Yet if you choose to Google some of the rules here,
there will be discrepancies from site to site, I fear.
What I say they’ll question. They’ll support what I must pan.
So I can only say that I’ve accomplished what I can.
In spite of all my studying, despite my dedication—
I find that few agree on rules applied to punctuation!!!!