Standing in front of class today, teaching the importance of using correction punctuation, I used the examples you’ve seen often. There is a big difference between:
Let’s eat John.
Let’s eat, John.
Or my favorite, from Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynn Truss:
Woman without her man, is nothing.
is a lot different than
Woman: without her, man is nothing.
As I turned around I saw how different people in class were, and it occurred to me that these learners were also personality punctuation marks –the excited exclamation mark character who loved everything new; the cautious parenthesis character who couched everything with side comments and explanations; the direct, straight-forward speak and stop character. She’s clearly the period person. There was the balanced semi-colon person, who made sure that both sides of her statements were balanced and complete; and the one who ended every sentence by drifting off–yep, an ellipsis.
I had a flash that this “personality type” would make a great quiz. And then I thought, it could be extended to parts of speech too. A “verb” person would be active and a “noun” person would be focused on people, places and things.
I think there is a journaling class in here someplace. We’ll see.
Meanwhile, what punctuation mark are you?
—-Quinn McDonald knows that everything is connected.