Monday, September 15, 2008

Punctuation Junction

"bloody furious Isabella lost Jack wretched morning now napping."

So depending on how you punctuate the above text message, or don't punctuate it, your husband could spend an agonizing 35 minutes believing that your friend Isabella lost your baby. Who has since somehow been returned, presumably unharmed, and is napping.

My friend Katie had flown to D.C. to visit a friend. When it was time to leave, Isabella offered to drive Katie and her son back to the airport, which seemed like an okay idea at the time. Isabella's house was only about fifteen minutes from the airport. It would save Katie cab fare. They'd have a few more precious moments to talk. What could possibly go wrong? Assuming Isabella did indeed know how to find the airport.

But when Isabella got hopelessly lost, and then when she subsequently plowed into a vending machine at the gas station where they hoped to procure reliable directions, Katie texted her husband the above message. Unpunctuated.

Her husband called immediately to find out if "Jack was okay." Katie replied that he was. Her husband asked "Can you talk?" Katie said "Not really." Husband asked "Are you okay." She replied "Not really." For the next 35 minutes, until Katie called her husband while breathlessly carrying the baby down the ramp to the plane (which miraculously they actually made), and then clarified the details of the morning, her husband believed that Isabella had, in fact, lost Jack.

Note to self. Punctuate text messages.

9-17-08 Addition--Realized I never indicated how this message should indeed have been punctuated. "bloody furious. Isabella lost. Jack wretched morning. now napping." Ahhhhhh yes....

1 comment:

Emily said...

Excellent point! Another good place for punctuation? Your online dating profile. Some of us filter based on that. (Really, we do...)