Today I found a funny quote while I was wasting time on the internet. You must picture two, fat, old ladies walking along in crazy, mismatched outfits talking loudly enough to be heard over a Harley convention. You can put me in one of the ensembles if it helps you visualize, although, you know I’m just not like that at all. With glasses perched at the end of her nose and a hot pink handbag swinging on her arm, the wildly-dressed lady says, “With my ailing memory, I’m thinking of changing my password to ‘incorrect’. That way, when I log-in with the wrong password the computer will tell me: Your password is ‘incorrect’!”
I’m not confessing to all of my forgetfulness, but I am seeing myself in some of these so-called humorous jokes about folks who can’t remember important stuff, like where they put the remote control.
Since I tend to write a few items about world-shaking events, I quickly grab whatever is handy to put together a sketch of a story when it pops into my head. One writer said she once wrote notes on a bed sheet. No bed linen was involved in this indecipherable note: “Punctuation – Dog’s Tails – College Degrees.” What wild dream brought forth this note? I should remember it easily since it was filed recently in my brain. I searched under recent items, but no hilarious pop-ups appeared in the dusty files, only reminders to pay the gas bill and remind Jim to declog the bathroom drain.
Just for funsies, I wondered what would happen if I Googled “Punctuation – Dog’s Tails – College Degrees.” I refer to the learned, wise and fluent Jeff Foxworthy as the source of my phrase “Just for funsies.” Mr. Foxworthy frequently said “Just for funsies” on the television show “Are You Smarter than a Fifth-Grader?” when the pitiful contestants stood humiliated not having any funsies at all. Since I know already that I stand knee-high to a grasshopper when compared to a fifth-grader, I waited on an answer from the all-powerful computer search engine and voila an answer appeared. Ha-Ha!! It all came back to me. A load of punctuation rules wagged a finger at me and my writing, jolting and shaming my memory.
I’m not bragging, but when I was in school I made A’s in all of my English classes, and punctuation was never a problem. I detect a hint of disagreement about the bragging. I would admit to boasting if I puffed up and enumerated degrees such as: M.S., M.A., M.D., PhD or PMS. No one would believe me anyway, especially the PMS! That isn’t my problem. Punctuation is puzzling. I can see it now with messages pouring in saying: “what is punctuation and why bother with it anyway rules are DEF a bother I don’t have time to stress my brain what are you talking about LOL this is ridiculous DUCWIM this is a CWOT.” DUCWIM – Do you see what I mean? And, who knows whether that string of degrees above could be foreign swearing with this new way of communicating? We talk more on phones and computers with messages that are misspelled, with no punctuation (except a string of exclamation marks) and acronyms instead of words. IMHO (In my humble opinion)
The item that surfaced when I did the funsie search was an article from The Guardian by Stuart Jeffries, who must truly be smarter than a fifth-grader. Mr. Jeffries mentions Saint-Louis-du-Ha!Ha! the city in Canada from my last rendition on this site. His humble opinion on the town’s name is: “Someone went potty with the exclamation marks, throwing them around with gay abandon!!! The two exclamation marks serve as reminders of those happy days when we weren’t so parsimonious with what Lynne Truss, in her book on punctuation, Eats, Shoots and Leaves, calls, “a screamer, a gasper, a startler or (sorry) a dog’s cock.” Mr. Jeffries has no shame and says, “That was her “sorry” not mine.”
Now you understand the dog’s tails in my scribbled message. They wag their rears all over my page in wild abandon. Exclamation points like the vertical dog’s tails or the white tails of startled deer mark my writing. Do I yank them, or leave them to roam?
Further along Stuart (my new BFF) says: “Novelists (at least male ones) are apt to be mean-spirited about dog’s cocks. ‘Cut out all those exclamation marks,’ wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald. ‘An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own jokes.”
I do declare, Scott!! The “F” in your name does not stand for funsies, does it? Bless his heart. I’ll forgive him since he’s done and gone. But I sure would have thought that his wife Zelda Fizgerald, a fine Southern lady, born in Montgomery, Alabama, would have taught him some manners.
Summing up the punctuation situation better than Sesame Street, Stuart offers up more quotes from male writers. One of the characters from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series insists that: “Multiple exclamation marks are a sure sign of a diseased mind.” That jab isn’t nearly as irksome as the words from a character in Maskerade (not my spelling) who remarks: “And all those exclamation marks, you notice? Five? A sure sign of someone who wears his underpants on his head!“
I say!! Mean spirited indeed!!! I don’t wear underpants on my head. As for husband Jim, does he wear underpants on his head? He says: NOYB – none of your business. I’m getting the hang of this renaissance of !!! and short-hand messages, going from one extreme to another.
“You might be a redneck if your wife keeps a can of Vienna sausage in her (hot pink) purse.” SMH –shaking my head!!! And, Jim, I know you added the “hot pink” in the fine and upstanding Mr. Foxworthy’s quote!!
I do hope you enjoyed the dog show and understand my punctuation predicament. Since your memory is better than mine, remind me to tell you about the beautiful St. Malo, France in the second picture above. Ya’ll come again!!