Friday, March 16, 2012
Lay Down Your Weapons and Raise Your Fists
I recently read a quote by Cormac McCarthy that stated exclamation points and semicolons have no place in literature. I did not put the quotation in quotes because I am not sure if I worded it exactly. I immediately came to the realization (again) that my use of the exclamation point is downright abusive, but I was somewhat stuck on the semicolon. The input received by many about the exclamation point is somewhat obvious. Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing does not negate them entirely, but does advise against their abuse. A friend also made the statement, "I fucking hate exclamation points." I did not ask for clarification because I do not need clarification. If what I am trying to express needs further impact with the punctuation I have not done my job. I have not made the impact necessary with the words. The bastard is a crutch and should be cast out of the land. Without venturing to far and researching what exactly Mr. McCarthy's semicolon problem is I have come to my own conclusions as to why this little fellow may be necessary for some academic purposes, but should be eradicated from my "art" of writing. The semicolon differs from the exclamation point in that it is not a crutch. It is an incredible waste of time. If I am sitting around trying to figure out where the jerky punctuation should be placed it is clear that I am not writing. And I am certainly not writing like the whole event is not happening. It becomes a mechanical process. I am focusing on format as oppose to the words, and I am not attempting to convey and purge format. I am purging words.