Sunday, 5 February 2012

Punctuation and Grammar - Who says it can't be fun...?

Who says punctuation and grammar can’t be fun?  After all, a couple of minutes browsing the internet and we can find loads of examples as to how hilarious they can be, courtesy of sites like Facebook and The Grammar Vandal. 

I mean, take the simple comma – without it, there’s a distinct possibility we could all turn into cannibals!  After all, ‘Let’s eat Grandma!’ means something completely different to ‘Let’s eat, Grandma!’  So like the many Facebook pages dedicated to this aging relative say, the comma really can save lives!

Then there’s Bill Cosby and his book ‘Come on People’ which really should’ve read ‘Come on, People’ – an error that was completely missed by the book’s publisher and only corrected once it’s readers began pointing out their rather unfortunate oversight.

And we’ve all seen the literary lapses in many a business or newspaper advertisement.  Blunders like the tailor’s guarantee that reads:  If the smallest hole appears after six months’ wear, we will make another absolutely free.  Or the classified ad that states: Lost – a small pony belonging to a young lady with a silver mane and a tail.

Moreover, there’s my own personal favourite - the grammatical joke.  Jokes like: The past, present and future walk into a bar... It was tense.

But as well as being amusing, punctuation can also be quite powerful – as shown in the following example:

An English professor wrote the words

“A woman without her man is nothing”
on the chalkboard and asked his students to punctuate it correctly.
All of the male students in the class wrote: “A woman, without her man, is nothing.”
All the female students in the class wrote: “A woman: without her, man is nothing.”

So when it comes to punctuation and grammar we have both funny and thought provoking... who’d have thought it, eh?

8 comments:

  1. Always up for some good punctuation lessons. I always show my students this one: The teacher said the student is crazy. vs. The teacher, said the student, is crazy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great example, Paulita.

    Geeky I know, but I love how punctuation can change a whole sentence even though the words stay the same x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Help your Uncle Jack off a horse or
    Help your uncle jack off a horse

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh my goodness, Anonymous. I had to read that a couple of times to understand that one! And now I do, I so wish I didn't x

    ReplyDelete
  5. Replies
    1. Thanks, Anonymous. High praise, indeed x

      Delete
  6. "I am looking for a table," said the lady with Queen Anne legs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very good, Jenny. Conjures up quite an image, lol x

      Delete