Friday, July 02, 2004

1. Au Lecteur:

Welcome, dear reader, to my little, virtual soapbox. Finally I have a platform to espouse my crackpot philosophies. On second thought, this blog of mine ought to have more structure. Yes, my vague statements and philosophical ramblings will be saved for late evenings and my long-suffering friends. What I need to make this blog thing work is a project. I have already chosen this blog's initial purpose in life; but first, I must make a confession.

I am an academic fraud! Are you shocked? Are you dismayed? Are you completely disappointed that my confession was not of a more criminal or sexual nature? Well, I have had each of these reactions to the terrible news myself; and so, I empathize with all of you--excepting you, of course. You know who you are. But let us, cher lecteur, continue on to the details. I call myself a fraud, because despite my BA in literature and my recent acceptance to an MA program (in comparative literature)--I cannot write! I am, however, talented at training monkeys and Mojoe (one of my most successful students) is faithfully transcribing each word, emphasis, and punctuation point that appears before you. Someday, I hope, Mojoe's services will not be needed and he shall be free to rejoin his spider monkey brethren in the Congo. But first I must master the English language, or at least improve my grammar.

I have a plan. I will use this blog to analyze the function of, and various opinions about, one punctuation mark per entry. There are three texts that will be used to imitate a multiple source approach to this study: English with Ease (a cut-and-dry instruction manual for ESL students), Eats Shoots and Leaves (Britain's current best-seller on punctuation), and "Poetry and Grammar" (an emotional essay concerning the signposts of prose). Respectively, the authors of these works are: Dierdre Honnold, Lynne Truss, and Gertrude Stein. This approach should give me an adequate range of opinions about what should and should not be done with the ;,',",!,?,/,:,;, and the ,. If all goes well with the discussion of English punctuation marks, I will continue the project using Spanish and French punctuation. Oh yes, and there was much rejoicing. I am not especially anal about punctuation, but I would like to know more about it.

All posts concerning the P.P. (punctuation project) will contain the relevant mark in the post title. Therefore, everything should be divided nicely and that minority of my vast readership, which only wants to know what I had to drink last night, may skip the main entries.

With gushing love and adoration,


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