And this is why punctuation is so very important….

Yes. I suffer apostrophe pain. I’m one of those people who enjoys good punctuation, grammar and spelling. For me, it  means good communication. And good communication is vital when you don’t have vocal emphasis.

What makes me bring this up?

This.

“can do attitude”

It was in a person specification for a job application. What the HELL does THAT mean, I wondered. Someone who’s prepared to wipe out Miss Jones on the Fourth Floor if she gets in the way? Someone who swaggers with all the bravado of John Travolta in Grease?

It finally clicked when a friend pointed out to me  that the phrase should have included a hyphen. I should add that at the time of reading it, I’d only had one coffee…..

“can-do attitude” is so very different to “can do attitude”.

Me? I do the former. I don’t do the latter. And just as candidates’ forms are tossed in the bin, so too are potential jobs. I threw that one away following my misinterpretation of the phrase.

What has this to do with WoW?  I’d say it’s a transferrable lesson. Communication is important. Clear communication especially so. In guild applications, in forums in guild channels, trade channels. A simple misspelling, a left-out comma or full stop. All these can cause potential havoc or hilarity. Imagine someone applying to your guild with a “can do attitude” – would you really want them?!

Besides, think about those punctuation marks. Please, don’t let those poor little hyphens, apostrophes, commas and full stops stay out in the cold…..

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7 Responses to And this is why punctuation is so very important….

  1. Rem says:

    And this is why I always bring spare commas with me.

  2. Pilfkin says:

    As one who is married to someone who is slightly… obsessive about grammar and incorrect apostrophes… I have nothing to add. Himself does though: “hear, hear!”

  3. adgamorix says:

    Out of curiosity, what is that punctuation mark at the end of your post? Is it an ellipsis?

    • Alq says:

      Ahem. No. It is a series of cold and hungry full stops who needed a home.

      • adgamorix says:

        Ah, well that’s ok then. Nothing defines irony like a post about punctuation that includes a misused ellipsie. All kidding aside though, you make a great point. The ellipsie is probably the most abused and misused punctuation mark.

      • Rem says:

        Hmm.

        An ellipsis can also be used to indicate a pause in speech, an unfinished thought, or, at the end of a sentence, a trailing off into silence (aposiopesis). When placed at the end of a sentence, the ellipsis can also inspire a feeling of melancholy longing. The ellipsis calls for a slight pause in speech. [Source]

        This seems to cover an estimated 90% of the ellipsis usage I tend to come across (not counting the purely technical indication that you hit the character limit and are about to continue the sentence in the next line/message), including the potential ellipsis at the end of this blog post. Thus I tend to be somewhat surprised by claims of rampant ellipsis misuse.

        Granted, there are people who seem to permanently use series of dots of random lengths instead of spaces, commas, full stops and just about everything else, but … (slight pause in speech) how shall I put it … (another pause in speech) I don’t tend to talk to those people, so maybe my perception is skewed.

      • Alq says:

        Technically, despite my using ellipses to indicate aposiopesis, I have still misused them in this post. Purist ellipses consist of 3 stops, no more.

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