good punctuation decreases inflammation.
It’s National Punctuation Day in my part of the world and, if you wish, in the larger virtual world.
For those of you reading this, who think punctuation is unnecessary and a Day of Observance is only fit for uptight grammarians and finger-wagging librarians (sorry, mom), I will say only this:
Punctuation saves lives!
The same exact sentence or paragraph can strengthen a friendship or it can end it, depending on the punctuation or lack of it.
Punctuation guides the visual cortex to interpret text in our minds as speech, adding nuance to visual language. Of course, there are other tricks we must use to minimize semantic noise.
Taking responsibility for a sentence and avoiding generalization by adding words like “seems to me” or “in some cases” will, hopefully, demonstrate that I am a reasonable communicator.
Note that I said I am a reasonable thinker and not You are. When I make it personal, you may be more open to what I wrote—because I’m not telling you what you should do or feel or think.
And, even even in those cases when we tread carefully and believe that we are impeccable in the words we choose, others may still interpret what we write through their own emotional filters.
So, we do the best we can with the literary tools we have.
And, punctuation is a crucial part of that clarity in communication—especially in letters, texts and social networking.
What about run-on sentences without much or any punctuation?
Well, if a sentence or paragraph is clearly articulated and understood, I don’t give a rat’s ass if it takes on Joycean proportions. I’m a big fan of stream of consciousness writing.
But, if you write “Let’s eat grandma,” instead of “Let’s eat, grandma,” then don’t act surprised when I show up at your door with a side dish and a bottle of wine.