I Punctuate Things

Comma comma comma comma comma chameleon
You come and go, you come and go


We Need, Commas.

There used to be a small grocery store in Evanston I walked by just to look at the display of giant turtles. You know, those slabs of chocolate and caramel and pecans too delicious to need a particular shape. These were especially huge—as big as a baby’s head and twice as scrumptious. In my heart, I knew I could eat five. But the handwritten sign under the display was unclear.

“Try one big mama.”

Now, are they saying that the turtles are big mamas and that you, the customer, should try one? Like, “Try one big mama and you will die of pleasure”? And did this mean I couldn’t eat five after all? In my confusion, my appetite disappeared, and I walked on.

A week or so later, I passed the store again, and the sign had mysteriously changed. Now it read

“Try one, big mama.”

Oho! So now I, the prospective customer, am the big mama, in which case, maybe I don’t exactly need to be eating giant chocolate slabs. Far too sensitive to admit to being a big mama, I once again passed up the delectable treats.

But my curiosity and chocolate craving brought me back. Again! The sign had changed!

“Try a big mama.”

OK, so now I’m fairly confident that the turtles are, indeed, the big mamas, not me. The next step: to actually go into the store and ask for a big mama. But what if I was wrong? Could I trust the sign after all these changes? Could I trust a vendor with such a shaky understanding of the all-important comma? I thought it safer to wait and see if the sign underwent any more changes, possibly the addition of an exclamation point.

The next time I passed the store, the “big mama” sign was gone and the chocolate slabs were replaced with fruit.

I hate fruit.

If you want to punctuate things:
If you want to skip the boring grammar lesson and join the Big Mama Club:


Delicious turtles came from here

Be Sociable, Share!


9 Responses to “I Punctuate Things”

  1. 1 Susi

    I hate improper uses of punctuation & quotes (you will “feel” good. wait, what? are they trying to emphasize the word feel? or are they putting feel in quotes because i won’t feel anything at all? hmm). Oh, and when people say “their instead of “they’re”. Ugh. hate that too.

    however i am all about the occasional non-use of capital letters. does this make me a hypocrite? wow i hope not. :)

  2. 2 JD

    Oh, sister, I’ve got loads to say on the topic of improper use of quotation marks and misplaced apostrophes and confusing “their” and “they’re” (and “THERE,” for crying out loud!) and, and, and…

    There does seem to be a small revolution of lower-case rebels out there. I may have to take action.

    (thanks for posting!)

  3. 3 Princesse Ecossaise

    Aaaargh I can’t stand the misuse of punctuation! It’s especially annoying when there are no commas…No commas! I actually have a phobia of absent commas. However, it’s really pretty embarassing when I make punctuation mistakes myself and then someone else points it out. Arrrrgh!

    Great blog, I love it!

  4. 4 Jac

    I hate commas in the air made with fingers. They are of great annoyance. Where did that come from anyway?


  5. 5 JD

    I dunno, but they are way overused. It used to be a kind of funny way to express irony, but it’s gotten out of hand, so to speak.

  6. 6 Bill

    This reminds me of Austin Powers when he says, “the laser”.

  7. 7 JD

    Bill: You’re gonna have to refresh my memory on this.

    Come back!

    JD’s last blog post..I’m Still Rewarding Vocab Skillzzzz so you don’t have to

  8. 8 Kathy

    Testing CommentLuv!

  9. 9 JD

    Kathy: FAIL!


Subscribe by RSS Feeds

I Do Kindle

Read my blog on Kindle

Read a Random Thing


Blog Widget by LinkWithin