Not all punctuation is created equal. This much I know. The ‘holier-than-thou’ Period has always enjoyed a nice prestigious spot by being the ending point to almost every sentence. As if this wasn’t enough, it is also the only mark of punctuation that can be spoken aloud to accentuate and drive a point home even more clearly.
“You are the world’s worst employee PERIOD”
"Excellent point Drew!"
The poor and often mistreated Comma does not have that luxury.
“Hey COMMA what’s happening?”
“My name is Bill, you fucking asshole.”
As you can see, it just does not seem to work. It is not very well received at all.
When the Age of Information came along and the whole triple-w thing, I thought maybe the Comma could get some more responsibility, some more respect. But when the debates started about the webpage notation, and email addresses and so on, you should have seen the Period’s Spin Doctors and their awful smear campaigns against the Comma.
“Who would want to visit a Comma Com? No one. Dot Com! It just feels right.”
“Comma Com? Try saying that three times fast. You can’t nor should you have to. Dot Com for the win.”
“Burt COMMA Malone at hotmail COMMA Com? I don’t think so. Dot Com for president.”
It went on for months and months.
And if that wasn’t enough of an insult, random punctuation marks started getting high profile positions, like the ‘@’ symbol for email. Where the hell did that come from? The Square Brackets, the Squiggly Brackets, the Pointy Brackets, the Slash and Backslash, the Colon, the Underscore, the Dash… It felt like everyone was getting in on the fun, except the Comma. The final nail in the Comma’s coffin was the tremendous outbreak and internet support of the Semi-Colon, and I don’t just mean for its involvement in the Winking Smiley Face.
“Why, separating email addresses sounds like a job for the Comma, doesn’t it?”
“Sorry, we’ve elected the Semi-Colon. Seriously who invited the Comma?”
The only hope left was in everyone's everyday reading and writing. Surely people still need to insert brief pauses here and there? One would have thought so, but things are just not the way that they used to be. With all the Twittling and Façadebooking and Toblogganing and McTexting going on, it seems like all people have the time, energy and patience for is the Period and his sidekicks Question Mark and Exclamation Point. I’m pretty sure that the newer cell phone and computer keyboards will even start eliminating the Comma due to its lack of use. They’ll probably replace it with some new symbol like Happy Face or Skateboard.
“wassup people??ima watchin teh new episode of real housewifes of yellowknife… its da best! seacrest out.”
“i cant believe ricky gervais said that11!!! who he thinks he is? :S”
“my zodiac sign changed i have no reason to live i think ima die”
“best. movie. ever.”
“that is so ophiuchus ;) … i heart astrology!”
“i had lots of sex today now my peepee hurts 8==o”
Maybe we should dub this the Age of Too Much Information. Granted if I have to hear one more person actually say “TMI” out loud, I’ll shit my pants, and then possibly throw some at them (see: Bad Language). So much sharing going on of personal details and whatnot, and yet there is so little punctuation used during their display. And don’t get me started on all of the grammar issues and lack of capital letters. For now let’s stay focused on punctuation.
The Period and his smug team of hipster elitists have clearly won this round, but let’s not let them win the battle. If ever I seem a tad bit Comma-Happy, I do apologize, but it’s time to help out the little guy, the underdog, the common man, the Comma.
Fight the good fight, use the Comma.
That’s it. PERIOD.