I spend an awful lot of time camping on twitter, where I have two accounts that merge into professional and social. I do at times forget which one I’m signed into and so often random unrelated links or comments appear via either account. This has lead to several comments about what I do and has been a positive cross over between both typography and research and being ‘Bec’.
So about ten minutes ago I decided to use the search function of twitter and see how punctuation rated in the world. Surprisingly a lot of people mentioned it in their tweets, they like it, they still want it, they get very annoyed at people not using it and apparently a lot of people are pedantic about it. There is also an awful lot of myth and opinion and no one seems to really have an ‘authoritative’ voice on it. (Though I beg to differ!)
After spending so much time researching punctuation I still find it incredible how passionate people become about the use of it. Take this website and comments for example, the arguments that follow about the correct use of the comma become quite heated. Why is this so? Punctuation is not just a language or typography tool but has morphed and been absorbed into social interaction. This is why I love camping on twitter, I love to see how people around the world argue their usage as being right, with passion and gusto. Like they have an almost possessive need to guard their knowledge or assert their way as the ‘right’ way.
Since my last search twelve new tweets have appeared, some arguing that we change the name of the underscore to something less boring like ‘dashy—hang—low’ (which is frankly ridiculous!) So I think I’m going to propose changing the names of punctuation and see what ideas everyone comes up with?
Here are a few to start with:
Question mark — Inquiry
Exclamation mark — Interjection
Comma — direct
I think we can do better and these are very quick alternatives that my Chamber’s Thesaurus app on the ipad helped out with. It also proved quite difficult and wrong to rename the marks, like some deep seated rules of respect for something that must not be changed. So on that note, I need to go and rebel and find some new names!