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Punctuation?!

Matthew:

What is the best question you have ever been asked? Also, how do you feel about parentheses?

-- Jay, University City

Mr. Alice:

When I get to the end of this sentence, why will I use a question mark?

-- !, @ home

Onceuponatimealltextlookedlikethis. Someone first had to invent the space between words. Once that was handled, an ancient Greek librarian one slow day devised a system of marks to help lecturers properly read texts aloud. One dot between words indicated a short pause, two a medium pause, three a long one. Punctuation began as guides for speakers, not as clarification of meaning for silent readers. Soon the period, colon, and semicolon were not enough. Someone invented the / (virgule), indicating a very quick pause, which mutated into our comma. In the 12th Century, tired of inventing things, scribes began to borrow from musical notation in Gregorian chants. One mark, a sort of a seven with a dot under it, told a chanter to elevate his intonation at the end of a phrase, as a speaker does when asking a question. So blame the question mark on lazy 12th-century Italian scribes. Parentheses were added in the 1400s; and apparently no one exclaimed before the 1700s. So how do I feel about parentheses? Regular visitors know I'm fascinated by their power and simplicity. A writer can proclaim any nonsense as long as it's encased in parens. And readers know they can skip it. Nothing in parentheses was ever on a final exam. Best question? "Where exactly, Matthew, would you like us to mail your very large check?"

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Matthew:

What is the best question you have ever been asked? Also, how do you feel about parentheses?

-- Jay, University City

Mr. Alice:

When I get to the end of this sentence, why will I use a question mark?

-- !, @ home

Onceuponatimealltextlookedlikethis. Someone first had to invent the space between words. Once that was handled, an ancient Greek librarian one slow day devised a system of marks to help lecturers properly read texts aloud. One dot between words indicated a short pause, two a medium pause, three a long one. Punctuation began as guides for speakers, not as clarification of meaning for silent readers. Soon the period, colon, and semicolon were not enough. Someone invented the / (virgule), indicating a very quick pause, which mutated into our comma. In the 12th Century, tired of inventing things, scribes began to borrow from musical notation in Gregorian chants. One mark, a sort of a seven with a dot under it, told a chanter to elevate his intonation at the end of a phrase, as a speaker does when asking a question. So blame the question mark on lazy 12th-century Italian scribes. Parentheses were added in the 1400s; and apparently no one exclaimed before the 1700s. So how do I feel about parentheses? Regular visitors know I'm fascinated by their power and simplicity. A writer can proclaim any nonsense as long as it's encased in parens. And readers know they can skip it. Nothing in parentheses was ever on a final exam. Best question? "Where exactly, Matthew, would you like us to mail your very large check?"

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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