Written by Margarita Morgan
June 29, 2014
I wouldn’t have guessed how important punctuation was until I came across Patrick Rothfuss’s very own blog. In the entry I read, he explained how difficult it was to use punctuation to deliver a simple quite from his wife. The quote he talked about was “You smell so good. It’s making me stupid”. Mr Rothfuss went on to describe in great detail how punctuation could change the meaning of these words dramatically according to the placement of commas, expression marks, semicolons, etc.
His post was not only hilarious, but informative as well. Since then, every time I read his blog, which is regularly, I dissect his use of punctuation and I get to learn a lot from these observations. Of course, being able to use these symbols effectively is easier said than done. I’ve learned that I’m very fond of commas, see? I like to go on speaking without pause and the only thing that gives coherence to my thoughts is the use of carefully placed pauses that should be placed delicately at the correct interjection. I know I misses a comma or two in that last sentence, or maybe I just feel that way because I’m very attached to the little marks, but, in any case, learning to wield such powerful tools is not just a matter of technicality, but of ingenuity as well.
I encourage you to read Patrick Rothfuss blog on this subject so you can appreciate how a seasoned writer turns simple sentences into complex and eloquently expressed thoughts by the versatile use of a few punctuation marks.
A printed copy of Mr Rothfuss post on punctuation is always on hand for me as a reference. Even though the meaning of some of the things I write may change when I switch different punctuation marks, I’m still far away from being able to separate my sentences and get rid of my commas. They are my friends, my security blanket if you will.
For now, my excuse is that I’m nothing but an amateur. Later on though, I’m going to have to come up with seriously ingenious ways to justify their use. To this end. I have become a devoted groupie of Patrick Rothfuss and plan to absorb his writing techniques until I can wield punctuation in a unique and prolific way.
We all have strange relationships with punctuation — do you overuse exclamation marks? Do you avoid semicolons like the plague? What type of punctuation could you never live without? Tell us all about your punctuation quirks!