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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Punctuation . . . interruptus

     Hopefully this post will signal a return of sorts to more regular (for me) posting on the blog. I will postpone a posting of the monthly counts (abysmal as they have been to due to teaching) and jump to something I find far more interesting.
     I have been thickening my skin over at the Query Shark in preparation for, well, query submissions. Anyone, and I do mean anyone contemplating agent queries would do well to read the blog in its entirety as I have been doing over the last few weeks.
     Now, I could continue to write about several of the posts found there, but one, in particular spoke to the writer, teacher, and techno nut that I am. This post gave me one of those warm tingly feelings all over. The kind of tingly feelings that is a combination of holding a cute, adorable little bunny while realizing that there are kindred spirits in the world, and knowing that the aforementioned little bunny will become the infamous rabbit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail to destroy its enemies.
     Why am I this intense in regards to ellipses? The reasons are shrouded in shadows and mystery to only be uncovered by one who undertakes a sacred quest (meaning I don't really remember). However, I am, and if that makes me a punctuation nut, so be it. I am sick to death of the rampant abuse of this little mark all too often by my students where they ......... put in any .......................... number of periods ...... because they ........ think..................... incorrectly.......................... that more periods means a .............................. longer ................................................. pause (I really want to hurt myself just for that reenactment), and that the slightest pause should be marked by an ellipsis.
     More and more I see it in emails all the time by people (even my colleagues!) who use the periods not to indicate any type of pause, but a, wait for it, line break!
     Allow me a few moments to vent frustration via my NERF gun at the monitor.
     Right, back to it. Yes, this sheer laziness (the Enter key just as easy to reach as the period) drives me insane. So, thanks and praise be to the Shark for the simple, eloquent words, which I hope to borrow:
"And I'm done reading here.
For starters, improper use of the punctuation mark ellipses (...) drives me BONKERS. I've received query letters that are essentially one run on sentence due to improper ellipses."
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