Monday, September 14, 2009

Pause for Punctuation

I was told recently that I misuse the semi-colon. What? Me? Well I must tip my hat to the person who felt the need to call that out. On my blog....why yes in fact I do! I love me a little semi-colon action! If you've been following me long then you'll notice I don't just have an over zealous love for semi-colons, why I also dig me some explanation points!

Here's what it all boils down to for me. My brain is a continual synaptic symphony of thoughts....yes thoughts, not just one, but many random thoughts constantly popping in and out, over-lapping each other during most of my waking moments. During a slow period I might only have one thought or song stuck in there. I'd love to be one of those people who can make their minds go utterly blank....truly! Wow, a real moment of silence, what that must be like. Nope, for me, even during yoga, the brain is still humming along with thought after thought after thought. The point of that rather lengthy explanation was to state that I write like I think or one long rambling cadence of overlapping thoughts; thus the reason I embrace the excessive use of said semi-colon. Semi-colons allow me to stick the never-ending string of thoughts together on paper the way they appear to me in my head (my head - a.k.a. Becky-land, it's a rocking crazy place to visit actually).

Here is an example of my thoughts at work. I was in the car at a Walmart once and was really deep into a story (about what, I can't seem to remember). Suddenly, as I'm pulling into a parking place, without a beat skipped I said, "Wow, seriously? Mirrors....get 'cha one!" I then immediately apologized for my comment stating, "Oh my! That was catty! Sorry!" and then in the same breath, picked-up my story right where I had left off. My poor car passenger had the strangest look; it was kind of a cross between someone who just saw a true UFO and someone who just spent 10 minutes listening to George Carlin...kind of a half-smile and a WTF look!

Which brings me to the exclamation point; for me, it's the most under used member of the punctuation family we have. I totally heart the exclamation point! (again, probably because of how I talk.) I tend to be a bit, uhm, shall we say, animated? I get excited...a little punchy.....often giddy and that tends to come out in my writing. My favorite “School House Rock” segment was the one on interjection; why that was an entire 3 minutes song and cartoon dedicated to the beauty of the exclamation point! And why not use it, I mean THEY wouldn't have given it to use when creating the English language had THEY not wanted us to use it. Why not be excited? See I think our every day lives are missing excitement any way. Remember being a kid? Remember being excited over almost every story you relayed to your parents?

For all you nay-sayers and critics of free-lance punctuation usage, I say to you, get over it! A blog is a happy fun place to just share your thoughts and hopefully, connect with other people, allowing them to ponder the questions you left with them or to give them a boost in their day via something you wrote. Sure, we all learned the rules of correct usage in school, but hey, sidebar here....we're not in school, so we're not being graded here. In the name of the Blue Book of Grammar I remind you that it's just a blog!

So for all my followers, I give you permission to embrace your inner voice and relay it through word with whatever punctuation you feel best expresses your need. Over use those semi-colons to connect your rambling thoughts and create excessively long sentences. Embark on an exclamation point campaign and show the world just how happy or excited you are about something!!!!! Heck, feel free to end a sentence with a preposition and start one with "and" or "but"; maybe even toss in an emoticon here or there in a personal email. Go on, try it! Not to worry, I won't judge. :)

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