Monday, 4 May 2009

Figurative Underpants

I was sending an email the other day, a fairly formal email but I was making a small joke so I dithered a little then used an exclamation mark to show the sentence was intended as a joke and not to take it seriously. In my writing, I really don't like them (unless I'm writing in the style of an overexcited teenager!!! a girl usually it has to be said!!!) What do you think? Unnecessary? Is it like laughing at your own jokes?

Check this Guardian article out.

And what about semi-colons? I used to take all mine out as I was concerned about coming over as a smart alec who knew how to use them and putting off less pedantic readers. Then I realised that many editors/competition judges were pedantic readers/ex-English teachers so I let them lie.

I also, while I'm on the subject, had a conversation about punctuation in poetry. Should we punctuate punctiliously or leave well alone unless it changes the meaning of the phrase?


Domestic Oub said...

I'm a member of Semi-Colons Anonymous - 'Hello, my name is DomesticOubliette and I'm not entirely sure when to use a semi-colon.' There is quite a weight of shame on my shoulders :( I love exclaimation marks though!!! Use them all the time!

Niamh B said...

Each to their own, I suppose! - especially when it comes to poetry...

Semicolons are really only for when you want to wink in a smiley face though aren't they? ;-)

- but I think you're right to use them if you know how to - they do more good than harm - especially for those judges who understand and appreciate your correct placement of them I guess.

Totalfeckineejit said...

I always thought 'semi colon' was a medical procedure.