Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Period of Adjustment

We’re all familiar with the period, a point used to mark the end of a declarative sentence. Each such sentence should possess one — and only one. Why, then, do two periods dot this particular sentence? Jeter is beside the point, which is relevant, because as the sentence’s opening word he should be as far removed from a period as possible. So, like a truant high school kid, let’s skip (the) first period.

I tracked down a truant officer, and I eavesdropped on his brief tête-à-tête outside the school with the wayward punctuation mark. Here’s what I heard:

Hey, period, you’ve irresponsibly replaced a comma. Allow me to reiterate, emphatically: Period, you should be a comma — period! It’s time you made an attitude adjustment and a physical adjustment. Take a point break. Add a crescent-shaped tail and I’ll allow you to “comma” back in and hang out near Jeter.

The officer wasted no time, getting to the point immediately, if not punningly. Here’s hoping that the first period gets the point. Pausing, comma-like, to consider the ramifications of his actions has never been his strong point.

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