I mean, really… Some people have written whole novels without using any! And this exclamation marks too – literate folks avoid them as a plague, they say using one is like tapping yourself on the shoulder. My favorite – semicolon – has been frowned upon as the symbol of ultimate snobbery and merely a show off that you did some college. Right. It’s common knowledge that what’s in brackets – you can skip writing all together, if you in your capacity of the author consider it less important than the rest of the text – stigmatizing it by the shameful brackets – i bet you that in this rushing ADD era (as much as i am convicted that it’s a non-existent disorder) your readers won’t bother to dwell on it. Not even for a second.
By now, you might have noticed that i adore ending my sentences with ellipsis… But, how many of those one can use in a paragraph
, without crossing the line? And what to use instead? The ellipses sort of denote that you haven’t said your last word on the matter AND that, as a presumably intelligent person, you retain your right to think of something else later on OR to add something all together very different… With FULL STOP, you don’t stand a chance. That’s it, you pronounced yourself, you made the statement, no room for improvements or latter reflections PERIOD.
Blame it on the Greeks, ’twas Aristophanes of Byzantium who came up with full stop’s first form – it was he , who invented single dots to separate the verses… AND it was so long ago – 3 centuries BC – that i doubt we can do anything to reverse the tragic effect of the invention on contemporary stream of consciousness writing. There, i said it! (The former exclamation mark is me high-fiving myself as it’s for a while now that i hold a grudge against renown Greek scholar AND i do feel better now that i took off my chest!)
Kudos for Chinese who only recently, in 20th century, succumbed to this devastating Western influence and who, for the best part of their written history, in poetry and traditional calligraphy, did not use any punctuation!
Hervé Bazin, French writer, known for his topics of teenage rebellion and dysfunctional families, in an essay from 1966 – Plumons l’Oiseau (“Let’s pluck the bird”) – proposed six new punctuation marks:
- the “love point” (point d’amour: )
- the “certitude point” (point de conviction: )
- the “authority point” (point d’autorité: )
- the “acclamation point” (point d’acclamation: )
- the “doubt point” (point de doute: )
There were other more than cool suggestions, like:
Superellipses . o 0 – to indicate a dramatic pause (source: halfblog.net )
The Sinceroid – when you want to be REALLY HONEST, as in: Oh, wow! Thank you! This sweater is just what i wanted .
Not to forget interrobang ‽ which presumably denotes excited disbelief and saves you the time that you’d normally use to type down a question mark and an exclamation point… In the course of several life times, the saved time could easily climb up to as much as five minutes ?!
The bastion of English language – The Oxford Dictionary – added ♥ as the first symbol ever to grace its pages; mind you, spokesperson clarified, “While symbols do become spelt-out words relatively frequently, it is usually only with a mundane meaning as the name of the symbol… It’s very unusual for it to happen in such an evocative and tangential way.”
Personally, i am all for including (introduced by John Wallis in 1655) infinity sign to the most common written languages – firstly because i don’t believe in any other, but self-imposed limits and, secondly, because it would be quite handy when, for example, you don’t know how to end an essay ∞