Losing punctuation


slashgirl writes "An editorial lamenting the lack of punctuation these days (I wonder if she's read "Eats, shoots, and leaves"?). 'Animals with brains invariably have ways of conveying meaning and messages. Horses flick their ears and lower their heads to say they want to be friends. Peacocks fan out their tail feathers to signal their availability and ambitions to hens. People wink and pose in a multitude of body language ways that speak volumes.

And on paper, in English, there are a host of shapes and marks that communicate meaning. Letters of the alphabet more or less symbolize sounds. Capitalized letters signify some sort of special value. Punctuation marks indicate when to stop or pause, question or exclaim when speaking what is written; they provide a sort of frame around the ideas on the page, to help keep things organized.'

The rest here."


She is SO on the mark. I DO carry a torch for proper English punctuation and spelling. I take personal responsibility for it and profane of Spell-Checker. I'd rather consult Webster.

In my (not-so-humble) opinion, the preponderance of chat rooms, text messaging, and depraved marketing departments are giant contributors to the marked disinterest in proper grammatical format. Why else would we have a word like "phat?"

It's up to teachers to insist on it. Kids aren't going to correct their peers in chat rooms, of course, and chat culture is just that, culture. None of that's bad, but the kids don't know that a chat room isn't a classroom, and they aren't making the transition at all in the way they should. Chat rooms are easier, too -- just type words and smilies and stupid abbreviations and all's good. Do the same on an essay and either you're James Joyce or you're illiterate.

I'm glad I'm not an English teacher. I'd give too many Ds and Fs.

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