Two Hep Cats and the Cool Comma

Punctuation Marks on Beach Trip Holiday

Scamble: I met a comma at the bus stop this morning. … Did you hear what I said? I said, I met a comma, at the bus stop, this morning.

Cramble: Be wary of commas. They’ll be on you like fleas.

-Did you know the apostrophe is the feminine form of comma?

-Band of punctuation pirates, the lot of them. Some witch of an exclamation point once hexed me into a pair of parentheses.

-Yes, life is hard enough without being labeled a parenthetical expression.

-Imagine impossible to break away from the vice grip of your parents.

-The bus stop comma seemed a cool enough little fellow.

-What was he up to?

-Just pausing, to say hello.

-I once dated an apostrophe, a beach volleyball aficionado, as I recall.

-Cool comma wasn’t going to the end of the line, Line 15, though, where the periods have apparently gentrified the neighborhood, the so-called Pearl District.

-No more comma splices. A few fragments, still.

-What’s the point of periods, anyway? We never really stop we get up and go again. He got off at the very next stop, the cool comma did.

-Why I prefer the express bus no all of that stop and go busyness biz.

Punctuation implies patience.


  1. Dan Hennessy says:

    Good article,fromThe New , Yorker . Don’t talk to strange commas .


  2. Susan Scott says:

    stopping by to say ‘hello’; nice piece of ‘frivolity’, thanks ..


    1. Joe Linker says:

      Thanks for the visit, Susan. Yes, the skittish often seems the appropriate post form. I don’t know. As my friend Dan said, cartoons, by which he meant, I think, satire, are easily misunderstood. I looked up your book, read through the preview, was interested in the part toward the end about “attitude.” Attitude is not usually included in the parts of a rhetorical situation, but I’m suddenly thinking it might be the most important characteristic, and it’s one’s attitude that is often misunderstood. Thus the frequent response, “Sorry, I was just joking,” but which leaves one nevertheless feeling there is an element of truth in every jest. Looking forward to reading more of your blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Just pausing, to say hello :)
    Ha, ha, hilarious. Was reminded of the gently warning loudspeaker voice in the older underground stations in London,
    … Mind the Gap …

    I enjoyed the article in the New Yorker.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Hey, Ashen. Yes, Mary Norris – great article. I will read her book. She’s posted a few pieces to TNY on-line site, but it’s nice to see her get a book out of her experience. Reminded of Janet Groth’s The Receptionist, though the receptionist would appear to be a quite different experience than the copy editor’s. And, yes, “Mind the Gap”; and, “The yellow zone is for loading and unloading of passengers only: no periods!”

      Liked by 1 person

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