Punctuate this!Posted: September 6, 2012
I have a few choice things to say about punctuation. One would sound like this, “#*!&!!”
And the other would go like, “Ohhh, you darling ellipsis, how I adore you . . .”
It’s interesting how emoticons have subsumed the life of punctuation. Emotional shorthand that in the “olden days” would have taken couple of sentences to explain, nicely delineated by commas and quotes – reduced now to smiling faces and stuttering exclamation marks!!!
I like Jessica Snow’s painting because it transforms the symbols of dialogue and makes these marks we call punctuation into gibberish. The addition of color further alienates them from their rhetorical duty. They are happy and carefree, released from bonds of wordiness. They meander and flock like lime-green geese in formation. Emoticon-y, “cartoony,” vaguely bubblesque.
The modified punctuation itself is doing the talking here. Signs that used to tell us when someone speaks, now all jibber-jabber away, Can’t shut ‘em up. So the question is, what are they giggling about? These buoyant half/symboled shapes?
Ninety percent (90%) of meaning is not corralled in words, letters or punctuation. That facial twitch or icy edge to my voice is lost on my social media friends. Are we losing some bright depth of interaction in our new tweet-driven styles? How do you tweet a pregnant pause?
I rarely punctuate in texts anymore. Who needs to tap the period key anymore? The phone does it for you. The loss of punctuation is bleeding over into my email life too – since Microsoft doesn’t know to add periods like Apple does. So its Fare-thee-well my punctuated friends. But I’m hanging on to my question marks