Well, after a few long days of diversions, I’m finally back to writing my (useless?) thoughts again!
I have been tangled in family life, a rare night out with my husband and reading a couple of new releases that have absolutely gripped me. I am also working on a bit of a project of my own but might bore you all with the details of that at a much later date!
I have also been having a clear out at home and have found a book today that has tickled me and also reminded me of my late Granddad as he was the one who bought me it.
Always one for causing a riot (and trust me when I say he could raise Hell when he wanted to) he was stickler for certain things. I often had quite involved conversations with him about life and such but one day he was getting himself really wound up about a set of Minutes he had received from one of the many committees he was involved with in his local village. According to him, there were apostrophes everywhere and according to him in places that they had no business being. He was also a bit perturbed by the overuse of exclamation marks in the same set of Minutes. I can’t even remember which committee it came from nor what it was about but it sparked another one of our famous chats.
The book I found is the ‘Eats, Shoots & Leaves’ by Lynne Truss and it makes quite interesting reading. Even I struggle sometimes to remember the correct way to punctuate and with Modern life now revolving a lot more around electronics and gadgets and most of our lives lead through social media we have had a big sway away from using the Queen’s english. And it has also brought with it a lack of correct use or blatant overuse of punctuation.
I come from a legal background and in many legal documents you will find little, if no, punctuation. And there is a reason for that. Lynne Truss uses a sentence on the book to illustrate just how a tiny comma in the wrong place can change the meaning of the same row of words:
“A woman, without her man, is nothing
A woman; without her, man is nothing”
So some time way back in history all of the punctuation was taken out of legal documentation because someone adding a comma her or removing one there could change the impact and intention of the document. In place of punctuation an almost defined legal language emerged as long, underused words such as; hereinto, notwithstanding, hereof emerged and were used to try and determine the meaning of the document without using punctuation. I must admit it fried my brain a bit and as of the time I “retired” from the profession (I’m not that old, honestly, I just had kids and decided to stay at home!) a lot of documentation still had no punctuation. It is something that i was almost conditioned out of using! And old habits die hard!
So to the point of this long and quite possibly boring post is that punctuation is now the bane of my life! When I write I can sit for five minutes pondering over whether I have properly used commas, quotation marks and exclamation marks. And autocorrect on the programmes you use to write on don’t help either. It is frustrating and it is a lot of years since I learned grammar at school too. And I make no apologies for the (probably quite) obvious punctuation misuse here on this post. I’ve tried and probably failed to use it correctly and will even blame autocorrect too. But I hope it is good enough to get my point across and its been nice to spend an evening thinking about my Granddad too!
I’m off now! Laters 😉