Experimental Punctuation

July 5, 2011 Comments Off on Experimental Punctuation

I have been seduced by the dark side—by which I mean, British punctuation. It started with Mr and Mrs and so on. I understand that the periods are there because they are abbreviations, except not anymore, kind of. Who’s actually going to write out “Missus Johnson”? Is that even how you spell it? Occasionally you see “Mister,” but it looks weird. It looks like something off a Bazooka Joe wrapper. And what about Ms? That doesn’t even stand for anything! So. I move we lose the period. It makes a sentence look cleaner. Periods come mostly at the ends of sentences. I may eventually come to vote against even the periods in e.g., i.e., and &c. …but not yet.

But recently I’ve gotten interested in the British conventions involving quotation marks. We already have the rules about question marks, as above when I wrote “Missus Johnson”? instead of “Missus Johnson?” And I’ve started doing it with colons and semicolons, although so far I think I draw the line at commas, because it looks cleaner. So I’m experimenting with British punctuation, in much the same way that a teenager might experiment with hair colors, you know, to try to find a (punctuational) identity.

So…notice anything different about me?

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