Archive - May 2008




       I am a writer.  I may have mentioned that a time or thirty.  But, on the off chance you weren’t paying attention, I am a writer.

       I’m not a successful writer.  Hell, I’m not even saying I’m a good writer.  But writing is pretty much the one thing I do that comes close to being work.  And I do want to be a successful/good writer.  And I think that counts toward something, doesn’t it?  I mean, I do laundry too, which is close to work.  But I do a fairly crappy job at it, and I don’t care.

       So to the end of wanting to "be" a writer, I do actually try to follow grammar rules and use proper punctuation and all that crap.  (A fact which I insist is true in spite of what you may have seen on this website.)  But, I think it’s time to revamp some things in the world of English composition.  And, as always, I’m here to help.

       Let’s look at punctuation marks.  Most were created, I believe, eleventy-thousand years ago, and have remained untouched since, so maybe it’s time to rework them. 

       First, the colon.  This “:” little fellow.  Get rid of it.  Seriously.  It’s useless.  People only use it when they put a list in a paragraph.  That list would look like this:

1.      You know what?  This is stupid.  Just use a damn a period.  Nobody cares.

2.      See #1.

3.      Losing the colon would free up English teachers to search for more dangling participles.  Or as like to call them – grammar unicorns.

Second.  What should also go the way of the colon?  Its retarded cousin, the semi-colon (;).

Third, this “~” thing.  I swear, sometimes I think keyboard manufacturers are just making shit up

I say it’s time to lose those, and replace them with symbols we actually do need.  Here are some punctuation marks that I think would really come in handy: (< check it out, a colon!)

“Sassy black girl.”  Put this at the end of a sentence in place of a period or question mark to let the reader know it should be read with the intonation of a petulant adolescent girl of African descent.  Maybe you could put it at the beginning of the sentence, like that upside-down Mexican question mark thingy.

“Sarcasm.”  Come on.  I can’t believe someone hasn’t come up with this already.  Perhaps we could use that little smiley that is rolling his eyes for this one.

“Sarcasm that the intended recipient doesn’t catch but that everyone else fully understood.”  This comes up a lot more often than you’d think.  Primarily because people are a lot dumber than you’d think.  Scary, isn’t it?

“Saying that you give in or agree with someone when you actually don’t or just have stopped giving a crap and you are just saying yes in the hopes that person will shut up and leave already.”  This has a lot of potential in business writing.

“Holy crap, a midget!”  Because it’s rude to just come right out and say it.  I have a lot of stories where one character is trying to get another character to turn around because a whole bunch of midgets in spandex just walked into the goddamned bar.  I might be watching too much midget wrestling.

We do need to be careful, though.  We don’t want to get rid of any marks that are just biding their time.  Like the “@” which was nothing before email came along.  Or the “&,” which is common today, but was shunned originally when it was forced into use by Gottfried Amper in the late 15th century.  Amper was a printer’s assistance in Germany when he improperly forged an “8” and, given the time and money that went into forging things back then, rather than throw it away, he started using it as shorthand in some smaller printings.  When one client questioned the printer as to just what the hell that symbol was doing in his treatise on taxation and the burden of the working class, the printer stated, “Oh, that’s Amper’s and.”

Get it?

Sorry about that.

On a side note, to get the right century for that b.s. about the ampersand, I Googled “Gutenberg bible.”  Which made me wonder – is there any relation to Steve Gutenberg?  Does he get a cut every time someone buys a bible?  That would be weird.


Wow.  I just wrote 700 words on punctuation.  This will surely go down as one of my most riveting columns ever.



ARIES (March 21 - April 19):

     You will pee sitting down.

TAURUS (April 20 - May 20):

     You will feel a slight pinch.

GEMINI (May 21 - June 21):

     A family member will admit to enjoying anal sex.  Surprisingly, it will not be Uncle Charlie.

CANCER (June 22- July 22):

     You will make a pancake that resembles Nikola Tesla.

LEO (July 23 - August 22):

     You will develop an allergy to brooms.

VIRGO (August 23 - September 22):

     Sorry, we're closed.

LIBRA (September 23 - October 22):

     Your genitals will betray you.

SCORPIO (October 23 - November 21):

     Your sandwich will taste a little funny.

SAGITTARIUS ( November 22- December 21):

     One of your fingernails will grow at an alarming rate.

CAPRICORN (December 22 - January 19):

     You will lose 14-27 pubic hairs.

AQUARIUS (January 20 - February 18):

     A loved one will pretend not to know you.

PISCES (February 19 - March 20):

     A co-worker will fart in your car.

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