Thursday, July 06, 2006

Random Ramblings on Reading and 'Riting

. . . or Miscellaneous Musings on Morphology or Grammar Griefs or Composition Cacophony. . . I'm feeling so alliterate right now ;).

On a homophonic note, check out this interesting article about a preposterous suggestion that would only serve to escalate our nation's illiteracy rates.

Another anecdote, related to the grammar and composition musings at hand, here is an illustration of why commas matter, excerpted from the Prayer of Confession in this week's bulletin:

Heal us when we give up hope, and allow fear and shallow self-interest to dominate our lives.

Hmm. Definitely not the effect intended. And some people think punctuation doesn't matter!


Wolfsong said...

I didn't get to read the whole article but I don't agree with spelling things phonetically. This is such a lovely quirky language and it's annoying when people mess with it. I can't even stand it when people say "c u" instead of "see you"! Nice blog..nice to come across someone who likes old fashioned things! God bless.

Anonymous said...

Lol on both counts. I don't even like to spell phonetically on text messages - and for me it would make sense, as my spelling is generally atrowsious [;o)]

As, for, commas, I , haven't, a, clue, where, to, put, them, really, so, I, just, guess! But you are right, a comma in the wrong place can totally change the meaning of a sentence.


Ashley said...

I want into a little candy store the other day and all the signs had the word "U" - "Once U get candy U can't put back!" It really really bugged me - I actually turned around and walked back out the door without getting any candy. :-)

I don't even abbreviate okay (OK)... It looks funny to me, like a state abbreviation.

John Dekker said...

That "Prayer of Confession" is a classic! I've seen "bulletin bloopers" before, but not in real life!

Concerning spelling, there was a similar proposal a while ago to gradually phase out anomalies in the English language. ;)

John Dekker said...

Oops, I forgot to include the link - it can be found here.

Susan said...

I'm glad you stopped by, Wolfsong, and I hope you come back :). "C U" is one of my pet peeves as well. And Ashley, if you use "ok" then it doesn't look like a state :). Though I rarely do. One of the reasons I don't use IM much for deep conversing is that it requires abbreviations more than blogging and e-mailing, so IM conversations end up looking more middle-school-ish and not well thought-out. But I digress.

I still don't always get commas right, either, Mrs. Blythe, but I am getting better. And I definitely try to avoid such mistakes as the one in the bulletin :).

Thanks for the link, John. That looks German, and if read aloud, it sounds German too. I love the gradual butchering of the essay. It would be very amusing if some people wouldn't actually advocate such a change.

Jessie said...

ha ha! "allow fear to dominate our lives"- very funny!

Have you ever skimmed through "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves"?

Susan said...

No, I haven't. What is it?

John Dekker said...

It's a book about punctuation.

I'm going to jump in and tell the joke on which the book's title is based:

A panda walks into a restaurant, sits down and orders his meal. The waiter brings the panda his food, and the panda starts eating. But after the panda is finished, the waiter brings him the bill, and the panda takes out a gun and shoots him.

As the panda is leaving, the manager of the restaurant rushes up to him and asks, "Why did you shoot my waiter?" The panda growls, "I'm a panda. Look it!" and walks out.

The owner, now very confused, looks "panda" up in his dictionary. "Panda: An animal found in China. Eats shoots and leaves."