Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The 12th Blog of Punctuation

It's pretty much December in Denver now.  I mean, I know it is actually December in Denver, but now it's starting to feel like it.  It's cold, it's dark, the trees are bare and gray, the ground is brown, and the sun is at that tedious angle in the sky that no matter where you're looking it's RIGHT THERE burning a hole in your retina.
It's probably my least favorite time of the year. 
I have several topics on which to blog today:
1) I am changing careers.  AAAAAAAA
2) I went for a ride on Sunday that had several amusing highlights
3) I ran this morning and for the first time in a long time I had that "I must've swallowed broken glass because there is no other explanation as to why my stomach would feel this way" feeling.
4) I got a new smartphone
To give brevity it's props, I'll select the topic from the list above that is the least emotional and scary because that's how I like to approach life in general.  Ignore the big scary things and deal with the fun stuff up front.  WAY easier.  Ha ha.  I'll get back to items 1-3 at a later date.  Or just really item 1 is the big deal.  Big scary holy crap my life is in transition deal.
So let's talk about item 4, my new smartphone!!  It's stellar.  For as over-the-top digitally connected as I am, it's a dream come true.  My possibilities for communication and entertainment are endless.  Limited only by the battery life and my skill at using the device. 
It connects to my facebook account, so now all my facebook friends are in their own "contact list" folder, and I can check for updates and postings with one swipe.  It connects to my gmail and hotmail accounts, so I have another "contact list" with those emails.  It even imported people's facebook or google profiles, so I have pictures and websites and birthdays and whatever else people have associated with their accounts.  I KNOW ALL bwa-ha-ha.
But a feature that I truly appreciate, as a child born both of technology and from a literary and poetic father, is the virtual keyboard available to me.  Let me attempt to explain why this actually matters. 
Because there is a difference between the spoken word and the written word.  That's obvious.  But in order to communicate most effectively through writing, it's incredibly useful to have all the punctuation marks available.  My old phone was limited.  It had no " or : or ; or / or () or *.  Try texting something with subtle humor or anything even slightly complicated requiring explanation without those little marks.  Seriously, no parentheses??  WTF?  I couldn't even make an emoticon.  I had to type out 'smiley face'.  And no backslash?  How am I supposed to say "and/or"??  :-$
And yes people, this is how intricately I choose to text.  To me, it's not just a simple easy form of quick communication.  It's how I am expressing myself to my friends.  And I want no limits.  The only thing it cannot do is italicize or bold words.  But I have found ALL CAPS has a similar effect.
A favorite poet of mine may best represent the differences between hearing something and how using punctuation and spacing can really change how one reads something.  e.e.cummings.

And now, poem 7 from "73 poems":


so damn sweet when Anybody-

matter who,some

of course)

or on the other

your oldest
for instance( or


' wife)

-does doesn't unsays says looks smiles

or simply Is
what makes
you feel you

6 or 6
teen or sixty

but for once



Now if you were to read that aloud to someone: "WTF?", right?  But reading it the way he writes it, you know what he means.  He means, "isn't it friggin awesome when someone (maybe a hot blonde ['blonde' gets it's own line to show you how HOT he thinks blonde is], your old friend, or I guess maybe even your wife) does something (or doesn't say, or says, etc.) that takes you away from where you are, feeling unrecognized, feeling unspecial, and makes the You you really are just all of a sudden float above everyone else and everything tangible."  Because they just simply Are and they touched you in some way that that deep inner You is now special.  Just imagine that feeling.  I know you know it.  As he says, "it's so damn sweet".
Comic provided by "Cow and Boy"

1 comment:

  1. From your literary and poetic father (thank you for that), I have to say e. e. cummings is one of my favorite poets as well. You've done well, grasshopper!