Hi, nice to meet you. I’m the Princess of Anthropomorphism.
You didn’t know you were reading the blog of royalty, did you? No doubt you’re wondering why I’m the Princess and not the Queen herself. The answer is simple: the Queen of Anthropomorphism is my mother. Remind me to tell you about the time we tried to pare down her sheep figurine collection but couldn’t throw any away because they would be so sad, and we couldn’t bear the thought of a trashcan full of sad ceramic sheep. And no, donating them wasn’t any easier.
No, I’m just the Princess–and while I can throw things away fairly easily, I can’t help but seeing personality in everything as well, from lonely food in the refrigerator to pretentious wildlife to the sad old house across the street. And–apparently–punctuation. Why not?
I’m not sure if you’re someone interested in the psychology of introversion vs. extraversion, but despite its unfortunate overplay in social media I still find reason to chuckle over the differences between people and their communicative and relational predilections. One day when I looked at a semi-colon, I was struck by what must be (of course!) a strained unit made up of two very different punctuation personalities.
The particular mark that is used in the roles of commas and quotes must be an extrovert. Right? You can tell because his mouth is wide open. He loves to talk. That’s why he gets to be paired with another like mark to form a quotation mark. There is little happier on a page than the quotation marks, chatting it up with one another.
…It’s also why the outgoing comma makes an excellent matchmaker for all sorts of independent and dependent clauses.
The period, on the other hand, is the introvert of the two, unabashedly bringing his sentences to a full stop and pausing to enjoy the silence for a bit. Oh, he’s not anti-social! He doesn’t mind conversation at all, but he does believe there is a time to be quiet, which is why you will almost always find him at the end of a run-on, bringing the unending ramble to a grinding halt.
It’s difficult to be the period in a semicolon.
But a colon, on the other hand, is a very happy arrangement indeed.
I have to say, I identify very strongly with one of these punctuation marks. What about you? Period or comma? Or are you the semi-colon, which I suppose could be considered an ambivert? 😉