The missing ‘space’
March 30, 2012 1 Comment
In writing, all aspect — tense, subject-verb agreement, punctuation, even style and formatting — is vital, crucial and important. Of course, we are all familiar with this example:
Go, help your Uncle Jack off the horse.
Improper punctuation and capitalization gives it a sordid meaning:
Go help your Uncle jack off a horse.
How about this one:
Men, say all women, are dumb.
Depending on who’s writing, it can take on a new meaning just by moving and removing a few commas:
Men say, all women are dumb.
But nothing, in my view, has grammar — the wrong kind — been so potently dangerous, in this case, to a friend’s marriage…
For her birthday, my friend narrated, he gave his secretary an expensive Cross ballpoint pen as a token of his appreciation for her loyalty and diligence.
Without saying a word, he fished out his cellphone, scrolled to the appropriate message, handed the phone to me and sighed, “You mind if I sleep over?”
Puzzled, I read the message:
Sir, ur penis 1derful. I njoyd usng it lst nyte. Thnx.
Of course this is fiction! I would never tell on a friend.