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August 24th, 2007


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09:49 am - Comma Comma Comma Comma Comma Chameleon
Does anyone else get that itch to post if you haven't posted in a few days? It's probably directly related to the amount of comments you're getting.

Also, it's Friday, which means it's Friday fun time. Here are some high-larious links from CollegeHumor.com for you:

Minesweeper: The Movie: What's fucking awesome about this is it almost feels like it could be a real movie. And the tagline rules. As does most everything else about it.

Facebook Off: Cute idea and very topical!

Internet Commenter Business Meeting: A must-see for anyone who has commented on the Internet.

I am currently doing an AMWA workshop called Punctuation for Clarity and Style. It inspired this poll.

Poll #1044555 Did you know a female editor is called an editress?

What is your favorite punctuation mark?

Comma
6(6.7%)
Semicolon
24(27.0%)
Colon
1(1.1%)
Em Dash
12(13.5%)
En Dash
3(3.4%)
Parentheses
10(11.2%)
Square Brackets
3(3.4%)
Hyphen
1(1.1%)
Apostrophe
2(2.2%)
Forward Slash
1(1.1%)
Quotation Marks
2(2.2%)
Ellipses
17(19.1%)
Period
1(1.1%)
Question Mark
1(1.1%)
Exclamation Point
5(5.6%)

What is J.K. Rowling's new favorite punctuation mark?

Colon
26(34.2%)
Colon
8(10.5%)
Colon
17(22.4%)
Colon
16(21.1%)
Colon
9(11.8%)


Feel free to explain your choice in a properly punctuated essay.
Current Mood: nerdynerdy
Current Music: Rammstein - Reise, Reise

(63 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


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[User Picture]
From:tigeremme
Date:August 24th, 2007 05:09 pm (UTC)
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i find the current colon statistics very amusing. why does no one like the second one?
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:August 24th, 2007 05:14 pm (UTC)
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I don't know! See, in a previous, similar poll, the correct choice (and, unexpectedly, the winner) was the fourth one. In this case, however, the first one is the right answer. I don't know why people are shying away from the second one. I thought people were told to always guess B.

How was Avenue Q?
[User Picture]
From:wiscck
Date:August 24th, 2007 05:11 pm (UTC)
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FIRST! Kidding.

Does anyone else get that itch to post if you haven't posted in a few days?
Yes. That's why I posted today.

I chose parentheses because those are the ones I use the most, whether they're needed or not. I almost chose the hyphen, though.
[User Picture]
From:wiscck
Date:August 24th, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC)
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FIRST! Kidding.

Dammit.
(Deleted comment)
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From:spectralbovine
Date:August 24th, 2007 05:17 pm (UTC)
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Ha!

I figured the semicolon would be the most popular. It's so underappreciated by most people, we grammarians feel it's the underdog of punctuation marks.
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From:raelee
Date:August 24th, 2007 05:13 pm (UTC)
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I think my favorite puncution mark is fairly obvious but maybe not...

I wanted to say that JKR's favorite mark is a colon but that option wasn't available for some reason?
[User Picture]
From:raelee
Date:August 24th, 2007 05:14 pm (UTC)
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Oy to the vey. PUNCTUATION. That's just embarrassing.
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From:electricmonk
Date:August 24th, 2007 05:22 pm (UTC)
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If you'd asked me a year and a half ago, I probably could have written you a whole essay on the existential significance of the semicolon, as revealed to me by Virginia Woolf. But now I just like 'em. Colons too, but I wouldn't want to edge in on JK's territory.
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From:jeeperstseepers
Date:August 24th, 2007 05:32 pm (UTC)
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I had such a hard time choosing between the colon and semicolon. I went with the semicolon because I find it more useful, but now I regret my decision because I see no one's chosen the colon, and that's so sad. There's a beautiful, subtle art to skillfully using the colon that I hope to one day master.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:August 24th, 2007 05:40 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I had a tough choice too. I mean, I really love, like you said, the beautiful, subtle art of skillfully using the colon, and the semicolon is so underused yet so lovely at separating independent clauses while still keeping them related, but I felt the need to stay true to my icon and, besides, look at how many fucking commas I've used in this one sentence alone. Commas are what gives a sentence its flow, allows it to become something more than just a string of words; the semicolon allows you to deftly shift focus, but the comma is what lets you keep going through the silence: it carves empty space into language.

Also...I love ellipses, too.

(P.S. If you truly regret your choice, you can change your answer.)
[User Picture]
From:upanashad
Date:August 24th, 2007 05:33 pm (UTC)
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Internet Commenter Business Meeting: A must-see for anyone who has commented on the Internet.

Hahaha.

I haven't read the HP books, but somehow colon just stood out for me as the right answer.

I get the urge to post when I haven't for awhile, but then I realize I have absolutely nothing to say.
[User Picture]
From:vaspider
Date:August 24th, 2007 05:33 pm (UTC)
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How could you forget?! I can't believe it, how could you possibly forget?! Don't you remember your friend the interrobang?!
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:August 24th, 2007 05:41 pm (UTC)
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Hee! I did not forget, but, apparently, the interrobang is not a useful tool in the field of medical writing!
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From:apriljoiex
Date:August 24th, 2007 05:47 pm (UTC)
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That is how I feel about punctuation, it is the bane of my existence. I prefer the spoken word, so as I don't have to rely on proper punctuation. I think the semicolon is my least favorite, but that's probably because I don't know what the hell to do with it and it's been explained and re-explained and the hair just keeps getting pulled. I went with the !!!, but that's just because I'm easily excitable.
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From:sabra_n
Date:August 24th, 2007 05:54 pm (UTC)
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Oh my lord. I wanted to reach through the monitor and throttle the FIRST guy within an inch of his life, and I hardly ever go on Talkbacks. (Then there's the enchanting TWoP cliché of "Oh, this is so not top of page-worthy", as if anyone gives a crap.)

Ahem. I think I'm going to get a cup of tea. SERENITY NOW. SERENITY NOW!

-blue
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From:ladydisdain225
Date:August 24th, 2007 06:41 pm (UTC)
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Damn it. I just wasted an hour looking at videos. It's one thing when I procrastinate on purpose, but it's quite another when procrastination is thrust upon me.

Oh, and I went with them em dash. I love it so much that I'm constantly in danger of overusing it. It's such an irresistable little punctuation.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:August 24th, 2007 07:15 pm (UTC)
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An em dash is the dash you use when you're interr—

Well, you can also use it to break up shit—if you don't like parentheses, they work okay—or just use them at the end to introduce something, as if you don't like colons.

The en dash is just a teeny bit longer than a hyphen, and you hardly ever use it except for the minus sign (apparently!) and in excessively compound words. I'm not sure why people voted for it at all.
(Deleted comment)
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From:lodessa
Date:August 24th, 2007 07:42 pm (UTC)
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Apparently I am not alone in my Ellipses love...
From:ikcelaks
Date:August 24th, 2007 07:55 pm (UTC)
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The problem with the ellipsis is that it's too often used in situations where it is redundant twice over. Otherwise, I actually like it quite a bit.
From:ikcelaks
Date:August 24th, 2007 07:51 pm (UTC)
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I was torn between the semicolon and parentheses. They are both extremely useful. I went with parentheses because, while the semicolon is much more aesthetically pleasing, the parentheses have unmatched versatility. Parentheses allow us to unambiguously embed whatever we want (single words, phrases, full sentences, mini-paragraphs, and even other parenthetical phrases (nestability!)) right where we need it in the sentence. Even if it goes against proper style, how can you not love that kind of easy to use power?

I give the hyphen an honorable mention, because I love modularity.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:August 24th, 2007 07:55 pm (UTC)
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I love the rationales people are giving.

I am skeptical of your hyphen love, given your neglect to use them in "easy-to-use power."
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From:mutinousmuse
Date:August 24th, 2007 08:19 pm (UTC)
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GIP!
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From:spectralbovine
Date:August 24th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
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That's more of a GIC, eh?

So, I wonder what you voted for...
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From:the_partyman
Date:August 24th, 2007 08:38 pm (UTC)
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Aaaaaah those videos are great! "pwned!" LMAO!
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From:glasseseater
Date:August 24th, 2007 10:10 pm (UTC)
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After careful consideration I decided there's nothing better in the world than a complete stop. Plus the period is my favorite punctuation mark to abuse. (In elementary school it was parentheses and in high school it was ellipses...)

Commas, colons and semi-colons give me the heebee jeebees. I mean, see that last sentence? I only spent like ten minutes debating the optional comma.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:August 24th, 2007 10:15 pm (UTC)
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SERIAL COMMA FOREVER.
(Deleted comment)
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From:zimshan
Date:August 24th, 2007 11:20 pm (UTC)
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GASP! WHY IS THERE NO COMMA LOVE?! It is the FOUNDATION of all communication, the FRUIT of TRUTH, the seed of the HONEST SPOKEN WORD, the--okay, I'll shut up now.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:August 24th, 2007 11:33 pm (UTC)
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I AGREE.
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From:shpyum
Date:August 24th, 2007 11:46 pm (UTC)
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You'd think it would be parentheses, wouldn't you? Since I live my life parenthetically? But no, I love the ellipses above all else.
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From:sterope
Date:August 25th, 2007 12:55 am (UTC)

!

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Those videos are fantastic. I want to be friends with the people who made them.
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From:toughcookie42
Date:August 25th, 2007 03:04 am (UTC)
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I sent the minesweeper movie to my siblings and all the girls. It's perfect.
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From:holly96
Date:August 25th, 2007 04:14 am (UTC)
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Minesweeper: The Movie: What's fucking awesome about this is it almost feels like it could be a real movie. And the tagline rules. As does most everything else about it.
Okay, that was the single most wonderful thing I have ever seen.

"It's never the first one." "Nooo!"
"Why are these mines even here?"
"What do we do now?" "Now? We guess."

Oh, and the yellow-face sunglasses dude. Ha!

I chose the em dash. Mostly because I enjoy the key strokes necessary to reproduce it. It requires more effort, thus is must be special. Though, as with all punctuation marks, its overuse can lessen its potency. But used judiciously, it can pack quite a punch. Also, three of them in a row (a 3-em dash) can be used in a references section to indicate when an author is the same as the previous reference. It might be the only punctuation mark that can thus be used to represent something rather than just connect or punctuate something. I dig that.

And now I'm officially a publishing geek.

Have you ever heard of Victor Borge? He was a Danish humorist and pianist (who incidentally bears an uncanny resemblance to my high school band director). I have a DVD with many of his best bits, and he's hilarious. Anyway, getting to the point, one of his most famous bits is phonetic punctuation. Here he is with Dean Martin explaining it and then using it with music. And here, in the bit I first saw, he reads a story. The one with Martin is hilarious, especially toward the end. Anyway, your poll reminded me of it.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:August 25th, 2007 06:50 am (UTC)
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Okay, that was the single most wonderful thing I have ever seen.
WHAT'S YOURS
IS MINE

And now I'm officially a publishing geek.
Very much so.

I have not heard of Victor Borge, but I will watch those thingies tomorrow when I don't want to go to sleep.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:latropita
Date:August 25th, 2007 07:09 am (UTC)

&!

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OMG WHAT ABOUT THE AMPERSAND?

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