Punctuate this!

Jessica Snow, Dialogue #6

Jessica Snow, Dialogue #6

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


3 Comments on “Punctuate this!”

  1. SigO says:

    I think the punctuation marks here are depressed. the downward direction of the painting indicates it so. at least that’s what a well renowned (hey, he fixed me) triple-PhD psychologist taught me one time. make sense, all these people refusing to use proper punctuation has these symbols on the sideline now.

    • heatherit says:

      I’d initially agree. However, she has a series of these going every which way in several vibrant pop-art colors. Click on the pic and that should link you to her website where you’ll see the rest of the series under heading “latest works.”

  2. SigO says:

    I still like my view, but I’ve always conversed with art without the artists’ permission. In any event, I clicked through, some cool stuff! color theory show looks awesome. inspiring stuff.


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