Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fun with Punctuation

Okay, so that title might not sound like fun. But, I just want to point out that SOMEtimes punctuation does not need to follow rules.

Yes, I know my dear and lovely George Fox University writing professors would disagree adamantly. (But, Ed Higgins and Laurel Lee were more free-spirited, so I think they would underSTAND... just not agree. Not sure about Bill Jolliff. He could go either way.) But, punctuation is something we can have fun with, folks!

When blogging, it's your voice that needs to come through. Really, in all writing. But, especially in blogging, the personality of the writer has just as much weight as the content.

Wait. Weight.

REALLY, if we're going to get down to the nitty-gritty here, I would say the personality of the writer may have MORE weight than the content. Because I can be reading about something that is routine (cleaning up spills, changing diapers, fending off the way-too-aggressive lady at Goodwill for the ump.teenth.billion.time because she pushes me), and it can take on a life of it's own with the personality of the writer.

Which, I think, shows through MORE when we have fun with punctuation and grammar and syntax and all that stuff. Fun. FUN!!! Because ellipsis were meant to be used...

ellipsis |iˈlipsis|
noun ( pl. -ses |-sēz|)
the omission from speech or writing of a word or words that are superfluous or able to be understood from contextual clues.
• a set of dots indicating such an omission.

...just maybe not quite as much as I use them.

For the past couple of years I have been inclined to write a book.

Been inclined. (Wouldn't inclined look more impressive if we always wrote it in italics, slanting forward in a dramatic example of the meaning of the word itself?)


But not actually written.

Because somewhere deep down inside me there is this fear of an editor (A real one. Not an Angela-version one who thinks they're an editor but can't really remember rules about such things.) sitting down with my manuscript and marking it all up in red, putting all the punctuation back where it should be and removing it from where it should not be and cutting down my run-on sentences that I purposefully MADE to be run-on because I wanted to communicate the furious stream of thought and emotion that was spilling through my brain, down my arms, and into the keys on my keyboard!!!

*deep breath*

In a blog, you can have fun with punctuation. But, I'm not sure you can in a book. And some of my personality would be lost. And in my book, as in my blog, I think personality has just as much weight as content.

If not more.

So my book remains unwritten.

(Or maybe it has already been written, remaining housed in the archives of this blog. Oooo... deep thought. Jack Handy would be proud.)

**In the writing of this post, I googled my old professors who have special places in my heart. Laurel Lee's name came up with a link to a bio, which I followed, and discovered that she passed away in 2004 from complications of fourth-stage pancreatic cancer. She has been one of the biggest influences on my writing. "Use a pen and paper! Don't erase what you don't like! Use your creative brain and work it into something you like with your words!" Those sentences all end in exclamations because that is the way she spoke. In rich, poetic language in which everything was an exclamation and her consonants were defined and stressed. I remember her laugh when Nate and I got married. He hated to write as much as I loved it. "Well," she said, "opposites DO attract." She was always encouraging me to write from my heart, because it's exactly that that will ultimately shine through, reaching out and touching the heart of my reader.

So, my dear Laurel Lee, I'm doing exactly that in my songs and on this little blog. With few listeners and few readers, but very, very loved ones. Thank you for your inspiration. You did your part. So I could do mine. So someone else could do theirs. And together we're touching others' lives and making a difference in this world. I can't wait to listen to your fantastic stories when I see you again on the other side of eternity. I'm so excited that I know we will share it with each other!
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Kelleigh said...

I totally, agree! I write with my own voice all the time, which is so grammatically incorrect that it is shocking. However, people seem to enjoy it when I write a story in my crazy voice. I get lots of great feedback, but really it is all about me. I feel more comfortable writing and don't worry about how it sounds and then when I read it over, it sounds fun! So . . . ya know. I'll just keep doin' it the way I'm doin' it!!

Thany said...

I looooooove the ellipsis.............

I just can't get enough.

I also really really like extra vowels.