Saturday, August 09, 2008

Punctuation

I can remember the moment I got it. Mr Hamilton, a head teacher I loathed because of his habit of caning the innocent and because he made me miss games on the last day of my last term at primary school for shading in the cover of a book, gave me it.

He wrote on the board:

Tom walked on his head in the air.

When we had finished laughing at such an amusing idea, he asked us where a comma might be put to make the sentence work. I observed the result:

Tom walked on, his head in the air.

I was fascinated. And whilst I may not be the world's greatest punctuator, sometimes allowing my sentences to roam and ramble long after they should have stopped and multiplied, I love punctuation. I am made happy by the way you can enlist it in the battle to make sense and it serves well.

Contemplate this:

No exit
only in event of emergency


and tell me you are not convinced that punctuation may one day save lives.

1 comment:

Mr Gnome said...

What? Is this thing called love?

What is this thing called, love?

'What is this thing?' called Love.

What is this thing called love?

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Can't stop lovin' those stops of mine.