“Punctuation is the Devil’s workshop!”
Kelly is my editor-in-chief, but I’m beginning to get a little hacked off at how much she laughs at my grammar. I think I can string a sentence together just fine, but my lack of putting the little marks in between words and making some letters bigger than others (like at the beginning of a sentence) apparently isn’t my strongest attribute and it gives her such a charge that it’s becoming more than a little annoying. I keep telling her that I don’t really need the running commentary and that she should just edit in silence like a good little editor.
She’ll be quiet for a while, but then her shoulders start to shake, she snickers and then her outburst wakes the dog.
“John, Greenland is not a continent!”
“Uhhh, it used to be?”
“John, do you really think you should capitalize firetruck? How about yellow? How about tire?”
“Uhhh, yes. You always capitalize proper names.”
“John, why would someone name their child ‘Tire’?”
‘Uhhh, well, Michael Jackson might.”
“And why did you put a comma here?!”
“Uhhh, because it separates the prepositional phrase?” I get desperate sometimes and start throwing out terms that have no actual meaning to me, but that I’ve heard her use in “that” tone as she edits my writing.
“Nope. Wrong Again!” Then she breaks into a fit of laughter that rivals what she goes through whenever I hurt myself in a really bad way.
I stubbed my little toe so badly one time that it disappeared inside my foot like a turtle hiding in its shell – the doctor had to use an extractor to get it back to its original position, like pulling a cork out of a bottle. As I held my foot and hopped up and down and screamed in agony I looked to the wife of my youth for comfort and solace. I was hoping she would help me to a chair and get me some ice. She was in no shape to help because she was completely immobilized, and not because she had fainted at the sight of the blood that had sprayed all over the wall. No, she was immobilized because she had collapsed into a fit of laughter so pronounced that her face was red and tears were rolling down her cheeks. She lay there, laughing in silent agony, not wanting to hurt my feelings by actually laughing out loud, but unable to control her mirth at my misfortune. As soon as our eyes met, she lost it even further and burst out laughing so loudly that all the dogs in the neighborhood began barking.
One would think that turn-about would be fair play so I tried this once when she hurt herself in a similar fashion, but I was instantly frozen in place (my guffaw dying on my lips) by the icy daggers that she fired from her bloodshot eyes. It was like that scene in Star Wars where Darth Vadar makes that guy choke on his own spit without really touching him and then says, “I find your lack of faith disturbing.” Except she said, “I will kill you and no one will find your body for a month and by then I’ll be in Mexico drinking beer on the beach.” (Well, it was something close to that.) She even sounded like James Earl Jones for a split second and I found that I couldn’t breath until she released her grip on me and I collapsed back onto the couch and spilled my beer ( which she then made me clean up).
I guess I’m just tired of bowing down to the conventions of grammar and I’m not going to take it any more. I feel that things like punctuation and other grammatical nuances should be beaten into submission and do what I want for a change. I’m tired of being held to such a strict law in my writing (can I get an “Amen!” from the congregation?). The English language is supposed to be fluid and changing – like the wind, and, come to think of it, maybe I’m just a ground breaker. Maybe in the future people will use commas in all the places, I, choose, to, use, commas. I’m tired of fighting with punctuation and I would give up on it entirely if I weren’t so stinkin’ afraid of my wife.
i guess, until that day happens, I can rest, in the knowledge, that IT makes my wifes’ day when I Punctuate. so Badly: .,; (have fun deciphering that one honey);”