Archive for September, 2008

A Punctuation Revelation!

There’s been much chatter lately about the spectacularness of the semicolon. I however think the esoteric piece of punctuation leaves something to be desired.  I mean really, I’m no english major, but I never ever know when it’s appropriate to use the elusive semicolon; (?) to me it is exactly what it looks like – a glorified comma with a period shaped cherry on top.  You know what I say?  Over. Rated.  And you know what I instead want to discuss?  You guessed it! The exclamation point! It’s a loud, brute force, power ridden method of emphasizing the words that precede it – traditionally anyway.  However, I feel as though the internet, specifically blogging, has revitalized and reformed the use of the symbol.  These days ! is used to convey a connotation of snarky sarcasm (see 90% of the articles written on Gawker) or even an air of lighthearted declaration (see title).  So much awesomer than its ancestral implication.  The disruptive meaning in my opinion is so far superior, the old meaning has become obsolete.  I’ve grown so accostumed to using the ! for sarcasm, that it doesn’t even really compute when trying to convey emphasis as it’s intended to do.  So this leaves us with quite the dilemma. What do we do to remedy this situation?  The only thing that makes sense is the creation of a new symbol.  The question is do we keep the exclamation point for its traditional use? and make a new symbol for sarcasm? or do we cede the exclamation point to sarcasm and create a new symbol represent emphasis?

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