Category Archives: grammar

Deep thoughts: onomatopoetic devices

I’ve decided that “kapow” is the most tragically underused onomatopoetic word out there.  No, seriously.  Say it out loud.  KAPOW!  Didn’t that make you feel oddly powerful?  Can’t you imagine saying it in everyday conversation?

Kapow!  batman

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Deep thought: The Punctuation of a Revolution

So, I’m in the middle of what would best be called “A week from hell.”  Midterms, broken appliances that left me with 1 package of easy mac (that I can’t make because I have no milk), half a loaf of bread, and stale biscuits, and a sunburn (in October) so bad on my chest that it kind of makes me want to cry.  Which is all to say, I don’t really have a lot of time to write anything this week.  Instead, I will attempt to offer up a Random Thought a day on any topic I feel like.  Today’s thought comes courtesy of the political philosophy class that is killing my brain:

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That doesn’t seem right: Clorox has dangling modifier issues

I’ve been watching the Mad Men marathon on AMC today, and they’ve shown an ad for Clorox Bleach several times.  I’ve seen the ad before, but never really paid much attention to it.  Perhaps it was the effects of watching a show about advertising, but I ended up paying closer attention to it than normal and realized that, well, someone didn’t give the thought to the copy they probably should have.

Jim is confused.  Continue reading


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Unpaid merchandise

If you’ve been with me to a bookstore, you have probably heard me complain for 20 minutes about the fact that merchandise is always “unpaid,” unless someone has started awarding salaries to inanimate objects.  (Come to think of it, that could explain where some of the bail-out money has gone…  but I digress)

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Ellipsis anonymous

I have a confession to make:

I’m addicted to ellipses.

It’s a problem I’ve had for a long time, and it’s a problem I mean to rid myself of.  Of which I mean to rid myself. Whatever.

I’m not sure when this addiction started.  At first, I simply used them in quotations, to indicate a section of the quote had been removed.  Then, the internet came. An ellipsis became a way to suggest “I have more to say, but I will spare you at the moment.”  Alternatively, it said, “this is awkward,” or sometimes, “here, if we were having an actual conversation instead of a written one, I would pause for dramatic effect.”  To me, an ellipsis was a comma on steroids.  It felt like unnaturally powerful way to use punctuation to make a point.

At some point, however, I started to notice my use of the ellipsis grow more and more liberal.  I would read over something I wrote, only to notice that I had ended every sentence with an ellipsis.  I started using it to represent a pause in my own thought process.  It no longer had any meaning, it was simply a written tick, a default punctuation, and an annoying one at that.

I know I am not alone.  There are so many ellipses-abusers on the internet, it starts to feel normal.

But I am determined to put an end to my abuse!  I am dedicated to using the ellipsis in a more responsible and effective way!  I will not allow it to go the way of the exclamation point, overused and meaningless!

Besides, I’ve found a new love, and that is the semi-colon.


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