The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Thursday, February 02, 2006

Now That's A Great Idea! 

I will be the first to admit that I'm pretty punctuationally challenged. I do make an effort, but some things are just ingrained in my writing. For one, I fully admit that I overuse ellipses (three dots). I feel that that they give my blogging a conversational feel, and make things more fun. Apostrophe's sometimes cause me problems. For instance, when is it appropriate to use it's, as opposed to its? I seem to remember learning a rule for that during an ACT prep class, but have long since forgotten it. My mom recently recommended a book to me, which I may end up reading, called "Eats, Shoots & Leaves", which is supposed to be a pretty funny look into punctuation, as hard as it may be to imagine punctuation being funny.

One of the areas of writing that has always been a problem for me is expressing sarcasm. I'm an extremely sarcastic person by nature, and I've always found it hard to express this adequately in my writing. I remember back in high school, when I was on... *gulp*... AOL... emailing something very sarcastic, which I thought to be very witty at the time, to my friend Mandy. Email was very new to me, and I hadn't gotten some of the nuances quite down yet. I've long since forgotten what I actually wrote, but her reply still sticks in my mind. It was critical, filled with hurt, and in retrospect I should have expected it. She read my email as a serious statement, which it most definitely was not. The lack of something... a ;), a :P... something, could have changed the entire tone of what I wrote. Ever since that email, I've tried to be extra mindful that not everyone sees sarcasm where it was intended, and that sometimes I need to add something extra to make sure that message gets across.

The problem for me is that smileys today seem sort of childish. Mind you, I never think sarcasm is childish, but I do think that smileys can be. You'll notice that I almost never use them on my blog, though I do use them in email and IM. That's why I think the idea of an Irony Mark is pure genius. It's a new punctuation mark (similar to a backwards question mark) which you can use to express irony or sarcasm. I need a new key on my keyboard!


"Eats, Shoots, and Leaves" is funny, but I'm a language geek. The examples are funny.

An irony or sarcasm mark would be nice.

  Posted at February 02, 2006 9:57 PM by Blogger Dean  
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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.

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