Friday, April 14, 2006

The Punctuated Life

I received a lovely e-mail yesterday from my good friend Jayme whom I traveled across the pond to see during spring break. She is among the most practical, humorous, and gifted writers that I know. Her turn of phrase is inspiringly original. Her ability to drawl wit from the mere bones of life is refreshingly profound. And her hunger to learn, read, and be more fills up the breadth and depth of her penmanship profession. But of all the correspondence I’ve conducted with the dear girl, yesterday’s e-mail was the most encouraging. There’s nothing like getting a note from a friend you haven’t heard from in some time. There was length to this note, but I don’t think that was the best part. There was humor in this note (Like the line: “sorry you were stuck in wherever-the-heck illinois or something. kinda a funny blog entry. i can't believe you were forced into more mcdonalds. it's just not your month for food.”) that, while refreshing, I still do not think was the best part—though the line I gave you touched on it. In all 306 words, 1,321 characters, and 6 paragraphs, there are about 16 non-ending punctuations, 6 capital letters, and 1 disclaimer:

lastly, i feel compelled (by shame) to acknowlege my terrible punctuation throughout this note - i'm just not in the mood to punctuate well. i'm having a little vacation from it.

Ahhh. That is the best part! How incredibly encouraging is it for a writer to take a momentary holiday from punctuation knowing full well that she’ll get back to it eventually because—as all good writers know—punctuation is a rule and while there are exceptions to most every rule, one must have a firm understanding and appreciation of the rule before one can break it.

So during this inverted season of Easter where the punctuated time of celebration and reflection have become the exception to our rule of the hustle-bustle-I’m-just-not-in-the-mood life, thank you Jayme for this reminder of priorities.

The punctuated life is a rule, one must know it before breaking it.


Jayme said...

Last night (no kidding) I was lying in bed thinking, "What's the deal with the semi-colon?" I've got to get to the bottom of this. Understanding it could change everything. Must investigate. Sad that these are my last thoughts at the end of the day, huh? What's that punctuation book you were telling me about by that woman whose name you couldn't remember? You know the one.

Amy said...

"Eats, Shoots, and Leaves" by Lynne Truss. I forgot about that...I have to get that book now! Thanks for the reminder!