Sunday, March 08, 2009

Punktuation Rules!

Okay, so I'm kind of a nerd. But was yesterday ever fun - I was in a whole roomful of like-minded nerds.

The occasion was a seminar sponsored by our local branch of the Editors' Association of Canada. Led by Frances Peck, we spent the day considering (and arguing about) punctuation and mechanics. If I've already lost you, you're probably not an editor. But if you are still with me, consider some of the wonderful things Frances said.

She reminded us that punctuation marks help us navigate our way through sentences, indicating pauses and also helping us make connections. She used phrases like "maintaining syntactical interest" and employed beautiful words like "idiosyncratic" - and best of all, she offered the important-to-any-editor caution that hyphens might drive us mad, describing those small black marks as "the mosquitoes of punctuation."

Goofy-sounding to a non-editor? Probably. But did I learn a lot? You bet!


Janet Vickers said...

Editors are special people. Especially for those of us who got a high IQ but can't always reach it!? And those who know what they mean if they could only mean what they know ... espistemic privilege and ontological aphrasia -- notwithstanding!

hg said...

I love the idea of having a high IQ without being able to reach it. Really, Janet, who says you need an editor?!