10 Reasons to Cringe
Saturday Morning Pancake Breakfast: Invitation to Play

Punctuation: The Good, the Bad, and the ODB

It's been a long time since I posted anything grammar-related on this site, but I've got a very healthy update today.  First, there's this delicious NYT piece about semicolon use on subway signage.  Emily forwarded it to me earlier this week with a subject line that said something like, "You MUST read this," and I gotta say I am downright thrilled that I am the type of person people e-mail grammar news to in an urgent fashion.  Like, if I can't be the person you think of when you inherit $1 million and want to share it with someone, then I want to be the person you think of when you read an interesting article about punctuation marks.

Also on the topic of grammar-related things people send me, I'm posting these pictures LMNOP reader Meg sent me a while back.  They are of a product called Rap Snacks--


--and the writing on the back of the bag (below) is so bad I assumed it was translated from Japanese or something.  However, Wikipedia (which I have cited, like, 12 times this week) informs me that Rap Snacks are made in the USA.  That means there is no excuse for what you are about to read.


The last thing I'll mention today is this "What Punctuation Mark Are You?" quiz, which is worth a go because it's only five questions long, but be warned: the results are kind of dubious.  It told me I'm a comma, and here is the rationale it gave:

You are open minded and extremely optimistic.
You enjoy almost all facets of life. You can find the good in almost anything.
You keep yourself busy with tons of friends, activities, and interests.
You find it hard to turn down an opportunity, even if you are pressed for time.
Your friends find you fascinating, charming, and easy to talk to.
(But with so many competing interests, you friends do feel like you hardly have time for them.)
You excel in: Inspiring people
You get along best with: The Question Mark

Fascinating?  Charming?  Inspiring?  There is no rationale offered for why these traits are comma-esque, and I'm not sure I see the connection.

That's all.  Any Question Marks out there looking to have an Exclamation Point of a time?


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The semicolon article is second on the list of most e-mailed! People care about punctuation!

I'm a colon. Does this seem more like your father?

You are very orderly and fact driven.
You aren't concerned much with theories or dreams... only what's true or untrue.

You are brilliant and incredibly learned. Anything you know is well researched.
You like to make lists and sort through things step by step. You aren't subject to whim or emotions.

Your friends see you as a constant source of knowledge and advice.
(But they are a little sick of you being right all of the time!)

You excel in: Leadership positions

You get along best with: The Semi-Colon

I once had a boy hit on me by telling me he wanted to turn my period into an exclamation point. no joke.


big surprise - this is actually pretty accurate:

You Are a Question Mark

You seek knowledge and insight in every form possible. You love learning.
And while you know a lot, you don't act like a know it all. You're open to learning you're wrong.

You ask a lot of questions, collect a lot of data, and always dig deep to find out more.
You're naturally curious and inquisitive. You jump to ask a question when the opportunity arises.

Your friends see you as interesting, insightful, and thought provoking.
(But they're not always up for the intense inquisitions that you love!)

You excel in: Higher education

You get along best with: The Comma

-- we could throw a "?, Party" and inspire each other about higher education while eating Rap Snacks!

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