The Handout

Download the Making It Strange session handout. It has excerpts used in the Pre-Quill presentation (in some cases longer excerpts), my contact information, and more.

My Books

If you missed my books at the Pre-Quill bookstore, look here.

happy punctuation day

In case you enjoy a certain sort of pain, here’s the full text of that 15-year-old blog post on National Punctuation Day.

the blurb

in honor of national punctuation day i have written this post without using a single punctuation mark im sorry if that seems sadistic but you dont have to read it if you dont want to so maybe its not so much that im a sadist as that youre a masochist enjoy

the text

ladies and gentlemen treasured readers all it is my distinct pleasure to wish you a happy punctuation day yes its september 24 already where has the year gone when i worked as an intern in the office of us senator james mcclure of idaho one of my responsibilities was to draft responses to constituent mail when the topic or position didnt fit an existing collection of responses that could be sent automatically the first such letter was urging the senator to vote in favor of i forget the name but it was something like national cosmetics day or maybe it was a week i dont recall anyway my first draft was playful for my amusement and that of the office staff it pondered what the women of the world would look like without cosmetics i actually think most of them would look great but thats not the point this actually is not one of those stories where the joke goes in the mail by accident and causes a national embarrassment i wrote a serious draft after that which was approved so i signed it with the signature machine the senators signature and it went in the mail which is not my point in any case it wouldnt make very much sense for me to commemorate talk like a pirate day which just passed by not talking like a pirate since i dont talk like a pirate anyway but since i use punctuation all the time and im pretty good at it if i say so myself i thought it might be a reasonable tribute to national punctuation day if i posted an entire blog post without a single mark of punctuation no periods commas colons semicolons dashes which i overuse apostrophes parenthesis another thing i overuse ellipsis yet another and without any capital letters or paragraph breaks you get the idea punctuation is important to our lives in ways that i cant even illustrate without using it the amazing thing is that some of my dear friends for example on facebook write like this all the time i dont know how they do it and its often hard to read and i sometimes want to block them from my wall but theyre my friends so i dont in any case this tendency toward unpunctuated writing which is no worse than using many exclamation points or question marks in succession seems to be rooted in twin causes a public education system whose employees in many cases dont punctuate let alone write very well and the culture of twitter or text messaging generally where every character can be a labor in itself and some punctuation marks can be hard to access and even if you can type more than twitters limit of 140 characters its hard to imagine why you would want to so happy punctuation day lets never do this again and now im going to proofread this to make sure it sort of makes sense and that i didnt put in any punctuation by accident i think reading it will be painful and if you also think reading it is painful imagine how painful and unnatural it has been to write this post so go forth and punctuate properly never use quotation marks for emphasis here is a fun web site about national punctuation day i havent studied it exhaustively but i think they want you to bake something how long can this go on i want my punctuation back right now later note i just proofread this and removed two fugitive apostrophes yes it was painful to read even more than to write but if you send comments on this post please dont use any punctuation so i dont have to remove it myself its less work for me that way and youll help me celebrate this auspicious day

the end