Tag Archives: Punctuation

More Unruly Punctuation

                                                                        More Unruly Punctuation

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “By the Dots.” We all have strange relationships with punctuation — do you overuse exclamation marks? Do you avoid semicolons like the plague? What type of punctuation could you never live without? Tell us all about your punctuation quirks!

Since I’ve answered this exact prompt before,  please go HERE to read my poem on this subject and remember that the punctuation marks that are not meant to be merely functional (the ones in blue and boldface) are meant to be pronounced in full.

Romancing the Word

The Prompt: Oil, Meet Water—Of the people who are close to you, who is the person most unlike you? What makes it possible for you to get along?

Romancing the Word

Scrabble, Dice and Mexican Train—
I play them once and then again,
while he won’t play a single game
of any sort or any name.

I like to travel. He sits at home.
Walmart’s as far as he will roam.
Won’t go to movie theaters, clubs,
exhibitions, galleries, pubs,

museums, fiestas, meetings, for
such crowding makes him hit the door.
Tourist attractions leave him numb
and make him wonder why he’s come.

I fill my house with Mexican art
that drains my purse but fills my heart,
but my artful clutter makes him frown.
His décor? Purely hand-me-down.

I like people. He sits alone.
His desk chair is his chosen throne
where he supervises the internet—
the biggest nerd you’ve ever met.

I dance whenever I’ve the chance,
but you might have guessed—he doesn’t dance!
He’s six-foot-two. I’m five-foot-six.
Yet tall and short just seem to mix.

I know our friends and family
find us an anomaly.
for these differences are just a start.
We’re 1600 miles apart!

So how can he be my best friend
when our differences never end:
a scorpion talking to a crab,
a Chihuahua running with a Lab?

What makes our congress less absurd?
We’re both addicted to the written word!
We both love puns and definition.
Apostrophe errors? Pure sedition!

While other folks discuss Obama,
we dissect uses of the comma.
We discuss dashes from en to em,
and how the world misuses them!

Splitting hairs but not infinitives,
sound editing advice he gives
for everything I write online.
If words were grapes, he’d strip the vine

of sour grapes and slugs and weeds
and after he had done these deeds,
the wine would pour more sweet and rare,
culled out by his loving care.

And so it goes here on my blog.
In its machine he is a cog—
mending lost links and feeling free
to cut that spare apostrophe.

To wrestle errant prepositions,
question faulty suppositions,
to polish off each word writ wrong
until a ditty becomes a song.

We meet each day on the cyber page
that is the parchment of our age.
While you meet others of your type
at coffee bars, we meet on Skype.

Our discourse clever, funny, rare.
We do not pine and ache and stare
eye-to-eye hour after hour.
For us, it’s words that carry power.

(Here) is another response to this prompt that I loved! It is by Sam Rappaz.  Check her out!

Unruly Punctuation

Unruly Punctuation

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 amight 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!!!!

The Prompt: By the Dots—We all have strange relationships with punctuation — do you overuse exclamation marks? Do you avoid semicolons like the plague? What type of punctuation could you never live without? Tell us all about your punctuation quirks!

You might have guessed that the punctuation marks being referred to (but not those merely functional) are meant to be read out as words.  In my original, it was fairly obvious as they were in 20 font in bold so they stood out.  The only way I could find to designate them here was to use boldface and to change their color to blue.  As usual, thanks for reading my entries.  I appreciate your comments and “likes,” always!!! Thanks.  Judy