Meanwhile, the profile system is kind of cool, as I've already received some email (which I very nearly deleted, thinking they were spam!) from people with common interests. One of them was this 22-year-old guy who wrote: "Your (sic) so incredibly hot. Any chance a guy like me would have a chance?" Which, you know, is flattering, not to mention cunningly phrased, but really... Is it the phrase 'loving wife' I need to highlight, or the one that says 'age 31'?
I don't know what it is about me that prompts complete strangers to come up to me on the street (and now on the net) and declare their interest. I know it can't be looks, because this happened when I was pregnant; it happens when I know I look like trash; and if it continues to happen when I'm fortysomething instead of thirtysomething, I'll know I've been wasting my time when I could have been using this strange mutant power for the good of humanity. I thought it might be pheromones, but those don't work online, do they?
Probably I should wear a sign on my forehead: "Private property. Violators will be persecuted." Especially ungrammatical ones.
Grammar and Punctuation: the basic punctuation marks (for Alex)
The exclamation point is possibly the most abused punctuation mark in the history of writing. I'm actually guilty of overusing it myself in casual writing, but well, it's fun to use and it looks nifty. Properly speaking, though, the exclamation point should generally be reserved for-- Are you ready for this?-- exclamations or commands.
'Sage is a talented girl!' is an improper use of the exclamation point, while
'What a talented girl Sage is!' and
'Sage, be talented!' are entirely proper.
Used sparingly, exclamation points become more powerful when judiciously applied, thus eliminating the need for multiple exclamation points. Similarly, one question mark is more than enough to denote a questioning tone, and a single paired question mark-exclamation point set ('?!' or '!?') effectively conveys amazement without needing to belabor the issue. If you want to show that the person speaking is even more confused or amazed than they were previously, that's where descriptions and/or depictions (in the case of grafiction) come in. Punctuation is not intended to tell the story for you.
Generally, I find that it's best to read your work out loud to make sure that everything is punctuated the way it should sound. If you don't know how to use periods, however, readling aloud will not help you; in fact, you should just stop looking at this portion of the blog, because truly, there is no hope for you.