Thursday, November 15, 2007

Yep, I'm a Bit of a Stickler

Well, well we meet again i see. What's on your mind today? I've many thoughts, but i either cannot express them clearly enough, i have already informed you of them, or i wish not to share them.

And i think we're all a little sick of poems at the moment.

Well, have you ever given much thought to punctuation? Yes, let us go there, let us delve into the rapidly declining world of dots and dashes. You see, punctuation is what lets language breath, take form and have meaning. And abuse of punctuation is becoming all too widely ignored or, worse, accepted. See you have your apostrophes, with quite clear rules for everyday use, and yet people blindly stick them in plural words! It's just an abomination. and, before i really get started, and before you say what does it matter, i think i shall give you an real example of where it matters a lot; as in the difference is one difference between two religious denominations. (Yes this is biblical, if you're atheistic turn away now)
Luke 23:43 'Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."' Okay so here's where things get icky. See that comma? ". . . truth, today. . ." Okay, so yes Jesus is saying that this criminal will be with him TODAY in heaven.
BUT is he? See, it's apparently hard on early manuscripts to tell if this IS a comma, or if it's in the right place. i.e. it could read "I tell you the truth today, you will be with me in paradise." Okay, so Catholics believe in this sort of limbo, and with the comma in that place, sure you could think that because it's like Jesus says, 'I tell you the truth toay," yes he tells him today, that he will eventually be in heaven. Do you get me? Totally different meaning.
So, we can see punctuation does matter? If you don't like that one example I've got more. Don't hesitate to ask. But i won't go on much more, this is just food for thought.
But i will leave you with this. Do most people know what colons and semicolons are today? YES you tell me (though I'm not convinced). BUT I'm sure most people wouldn't have the faintest idea how to use one.
They may just stick a semicolon (this ; one by the way) in when they don't know whether to start a new sentence or not.

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