Friday, February 16, 2007

Writing Tip #17: Obscene Punctuation

As it is possible (even likely) that your readers may span across various genders and age ranges, the use of the colon for punctuation purposes is now considered vulgar.

13 comments:

Ms Melancholy said...

I have concern for my punctuation and grammar skills. As Caroline once said (lovely quote, have to nick it) I went to a vile comprehensive and was lucky to leave school with the ability to actually read. I shall now defer to you, Mr Clever Moon, on all such matters. I have just this very day used a colon in my latest post. Please explain why this is now 'vulgar' and advise forthwith. (You may think I am joking. I am deadly serious.)

Caroline said...

Viv - where have you gone?
Vulgar? Please explain.
And may I just add (seeing as my words are being taken out of context) that my comprehensive was vile because I was bullied for 5 years ... as opposed to the use of 'vile' in a 'I deserved private education' kind of way. Just felt the need to make that clear.
x

Minx said...

Well, good, one less to worry about!
A colon may be considered vulgar, but ain't 'vulgar' a brilliant word? My mum used to call me vulgar if I used the word 'bum'- times change.

Atyllah said...

Yes, please, explanation. Alien chicken more confused than ever. Mind you, I'm all for simplification.

The Moon Topples said...

Comedy is never so successful as when the author must use an index finger to point and say: "This is a joke."

I doubt this is any funnier to Americans.

Just a little pun on the word colon being both : and a part of the body involved in defecation.

I plan to continue to offer writing tips, whether people find them funny or not...

To unquote Ms. M: "You may think I am deadly serious. I am joking."

Caroline said...

Ah ha! It's that tricky/clever American humo(u)r that catches us brits out every time.

That's actually rather funny ... now that you've pointed it out with your index finger ;-)

Ms Baroque said...

I got the joke. Just thought I'd say...

Ms Melancholy said...

Ah, a joke. I get it. Well done, Ms B. Go to the top of the class. (And sorry Caroline for taking your words out of context. I understood precisely what you meant, but I appreciate your fear of being misunderstood. Class is such a complex thing...)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I figured you were referring to some of the shit which passes :) for writing these days since it emanates from the colon.

If something is only half-bad, does that make the semicolon vulgar, too?

Shameless said...

Can I just add that I also got the joke, Maht, and I laughed all the way to the toilet. Have you ever had a colon cleanse? I haven't but I met someone who did. She couldn't sit for two months because they turned things on full force too quick! That's another reason to drop the colon. I prefer the semi-colon, which is what vegetarians must have, and I am one of those! :) Nice tip, Maht, keep them coming.

baralbion said...

The world in general, and the digestive tract in particular, would be a lesser place without the colon: let's keep it.

Reading the Signs said...

The colon is functional; the semi-colon is a thing of great beauty. I never understand jokes, not even pie-in-the face ones.

Ms Melancholy said...

Ms Signs, you are most erudite and most funny, for that was a very special kind of British joke, wasn't it?