Friday, April 6, 2007

Digg it

I'm amazed.

I just checked on the fortunes of How to punctuate a sentence and found that it has 412 diggs. Translation: 412 people have tagged the post as an item that interests them. The number jumped from 361 to 412 while I typed this post. (I think that "Yowza!" is all I can say about that.)

The post has also been tagged by 254 people on the social bookmarking site, and it's in the Digg and lists on popurls ("popular urls to the latest web buzz").

It's strangely thrilling to think of punctuation as being part of the latest web buzz. And so it turns out that what I've been telling my students is true after all: punctuation is cool; it's fresh; it's fly. It's what happening -- at least for the next few days. (Does anyone still say "fly"?)

comments: 9

Professor Howdy said...

Very good article. Thank you -
have a good day!!!

Michael Leddy said...

Wow, that was fast. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the article. I was always horrible with commas until one of my high school english teachers took the time to explain comma rules. Anyway, I'd love to see more articles on grammar from you.

Bob said...

I was wondering, do those rules apply to dialog also?

By the way, you've topped 1000 Diggs.
Currently it's at 1160, with almost 80 comments.

Michael Leddy said...

Anonymous, is there something in particular you'd like to read about?

Bob, I'd say yes, but I'd add that things are more flexible if you're writing fiction.

Thanks for the comments. I'm still amazed by the Diggs.

Anonymous said...

Semicolons have always baffled me. If you've got two perfectly good complete sentences, why join them?


Anonymous said...

With all the bloggers around, it is no wonder that grammar has become pretty fly for the blog guy! ;)

Genevieve Netz said...

I notice that you're adding the comma after the next-to-last element in a series, right before "and." That's what I was taught in my early education; then, somewhere along the line, I was advised that the comma before "and" in a series was unnecessary, undesirable, and un-fly.

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks, Bee -- I'm still amazed.

Genevieve, the so-called serial comma has prompted more discussion than anything else in my post. Here's what I wrote in a comment on Lifehacker: "The problem with commas and items in a series is that there are two conventions to choose from. I recommended the one that seems to me more consistent and less likely to strike a reader as 'wrong.'" There's the problem: put the comma in, and someone will say it's not needed; leave it out, and someone else will say you've made a mistake.

I wrote a follow-up post for Lifehack with some more about the serial comma (along with dashes and semi-colons): How to punctuate more sentences. Thanks, as always, for reading.