Passion for Punctuation

I’ve been enjoying a love affair with the humble ellipsis for many years now. It’s a relationship that shows no signs of waning, and in fact it seems to grow stronger by the day. I use ellipses as often as I can and under as many writing circumstances as possible. Apart from generally being a bit mad for all things ‘dotty’, I think what I like most of all about ellipses is the possibilities they present …

Recently I’ve started spending time with another kind of punctuation – delightful parentheses – because they’re rather lovely too. I like how they provide a protective bubble for the words contained within, and how they have the ability to act like a sneaky aside to the reader. Actually I even like the way the word sounds (par-en-thes-is) … it rolls off the tongue pleasingly.

Speaking of sentence-related things that I like, I’m also quite fond of ampersands. While I never could master the overlapping curves of hand-written ampersands as a child (and even now I would probably struggle), I certainly recognise them as a thing of beauty. Ampersands make a deliciously bold statement in a sentence, catching the eye to a pairing of words in a very particular way.

Sure, the selection and placement of words brings an immense amount of satisfaction, but certain kinds of punctuation can bring an extra kind of joy.

… Here’s hoping I’m not the only one who goes weak at the knees for certain punctuation? (any positive reassurance is most welcome).

20 Comments

  1. jan

    [wishes there were more uses for brackets. You don’t even have to uppercase them.]

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Jan – YES! Brackets are wonderful things indeed (I’m so glad you agree). In fact I think I may be starting to use them a little too much (oh well).

  2. Rol

    I find I love punctuation so much that I often tend to use it too much. I have to control myself or there’s be more dots and dashes on the page than there were actual words.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Rol – Oh my, I think exactly the same thing!!

      Sometimes my written pages, blog posts and tweets are so full of ellipses, brackets and the like, that the words become irrelevant to me … pity this way of conversing (and finding such joy) through punctuation is probably not enjoyed by most people … You have no idea how comforting it is to know that I’m not alone in loving the dots and dashes! 🙂

  3. kellie

    It would seem, like you, I also have an affection for alliteration! And you are certainly not alone in your passion for punctuation. Ampersands, ellipsis, semi-colons, em dashes, curly brackets {} which are also known as gullwings ~ sigh …

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Kellie – Oh yes, alliteration is wonderful (and is often lots of fun to play and work with)!! It’s wonderful you love punctuation too … how could I overlook the lovely semi-colon? I tend to use them quite a bit because my sentences can often go on, and on, and on … haha! 😉

      OH MY! I had no idea that those curly brackets are also known as ‘gullwings’ … what a great name! I shall have to incorporate them into my writing more often based on that name alone! 😉

  4. Pingback: Weblogical interactionism | Maekitso's Café

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Brad – Wonderful, wonderful writing as always! Thanks for the link! 🙂

      I really enjoy reading your work because it tends to make me really *think* about what I’m reading … sometimes I get a bit lazy with my reading and gloss over the words – but such an approach does not work with your writing. I think that’s pretty great.

  5. Piper (DailyDivaDish)

    You too? I love to punctuate my writing in all kinds of ways. I too, am dotty about ellipsis. I love underlining and italicizing as well. And don’t even get me started about how much I adore parenthesis. I probably don’t always use all of the above in the proper form, but I sure have fun trying!
    XO Piper

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Piper – I’m so very glad to hear I’m not alone in my love (or rather, obsession) with all things lovely about punctuation. I must admit that sometimes my efforts at punctuating my work can tend towards overuse … but oh well, so long as I’m having fun I guess! 😉

      The lovely ellipsis is wonderful indeed – and like yourself, I certainly enjoy a bit of underlining and italicising is also rather special.

      Here’s to the endless joy of punctuation (even if we don’t always use it correctly). 😀

  6. Gabrielle Bryden

    This may seem unrelated (but visually it is not) but I just love the treble clef at the start of a sheet of music (and can remember finally working out how to do one at school). I do like parenthesis – they solve a numbe of problems with sentence structure – haha.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Gabrielle – Oh you’re sooooo very right – I absolutely love the treble clef at the start of sheet music too (you’ve just transported me back to primary school music lessons at that thought). Gosh, I don’t know if I’d still remember how to draw one. One of the true beauties of the humble parenthesis is definitely the way they solve many problems with sentence structure (especially for someone like me who doesn’t always know just where the sentence should end). Case and point! 😉

  7. Caz

    I’m a big ellipsis fan too and use it whenever I get the chance. I also have a fondness for the ’em dash’ – that extra long dash that often takes the place of parentheses – as I think it impede the flow of words less than the more embracing parentheses. See you’re not on you own with your punctuation fetish!

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Caz – The ellipsis is simply a joy to behold, I don’t exactly remember the specific day when they became such a feature of my writing, but there doesn’t seem to be any chance of shaking them now (and I’m completely A-OK with that!) … Oh yes, the ’em dash’ … so lovely, and you’re so right – they tend to be a ‘softer’ break in a sentence when compared to parentheses (there’s just so much punctuation to love).

      PS. You have no idea how comforting it is to know I’m not alone in my love of good punctuation (there must be hope for me yet!). 😉

  8. Ricardo

    Oh I love parenthesis because they make wonderful sneaky asides. Every writer needs that.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Ricardo – Yes, it’s definitely those sneaky asides offered by the parenthesis that we all love so much! (they add a bit of fun into the text I think). They’re a lovely way to have a conversation of a different kind with the reader.

  9. Andrea

    I did have a professor in college who said that if he ever got a tattoo it would be of a semicolon on his forearm.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Andrea – That is so awesomely cool! What an inventive way to ‘show’ a love of punctuation – your professor must have been an interesting character! 🙂

  10. Rellacafa

    Teehee! This made me laugh, I love ampersands!! My favourite punctuation point by far. My tip on handwriting them is that it’s really just a lower-case ‘a’ (well, not that version but the one we write) with an extra loop on top! ;D x

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hiya Caf – I’m so glad that you love ampersands too … they’re lovely on so many (often indescribable) levels. Thanks for the handwriting tip – now I have no excuse but to practice! 🙂
      PS. I’ve been a bit all over the shop lately and fear I may have missed wishing you a recent happy birthday – if that’s the case consider this some very happy belated wished!!! 😀 (I hope you had a lovely day) … unless it’s someone else’s birthday I’ve missed??

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