Saturday, December 10, 2005

nonsense [3]

nonsense 1 & 2 continued...

beware, late night blogging can turn one into a bit of a hypocrite. take the questions that i posed in
nonsense 1 as a bright blue example. objectively, these questions share at least two common characteristics. first, bound by the writer's appropriately apparent allegiance to his thesis, the questions have explicit thematic links; each ponders a metaphysical quandry concerning the nature of self (MEtaphysical). secondly, as questions, each of the three utilizes that curly-que punctuation piece known as the question mark. (well, duh, andrew.) it is this second similarity that should drive me bonkers.

you see, during my senior year at SPU i served as the unofficial campus advocate for the annihilation of question marks. of course, i'm not entirely serious; i never joined a punctuation club or made vituperative speeches at language rallies. but conversely, i was much more vocal about my agenda than merely crouching in some dark dorm room corner repeatededly chanting 'question marks are bad.' indeed, as a writing center tutor, i spread my message using a grass roots approach. in the fertile (and occassionally sullen) minds of my fellow students i explained that question marks should be used sparingly, if ever. 'they cheapen your prose,' i warned, 'discerning readers (such as your teachers) will recognize that you're using a question and answer approach because you lack the creative moxy to develop the thought yourself.'

and i wasn't kidding. yes, good writers use question marks. but at the first sign of that strangely stylized punctuation mark, my spidey senses tingle. it stops me in my tracks. alright, here's a real life example. back in 2001 i visited liverpool, the birthplace of the beatles (
what a crazy bunch of mopheads; my itunes random playlist just dished out that lost oldie everybody's got something to hide except me and my monkey). as joel and i ambled in the general direction of our hostel, he suddenly darted off-course, set down his pack, and fished out his camera. his sudden enthusiasm seemed odd: the street block was dirty, a bit run-down, and all-in-all rather ordinary. in explanation, he laughed something mildly unintelligble and then started snapping pictures. looking up, i saw the following message posted one letter at a time in the 6th floor windows of a dilpidated warehouse: t-h-i-s--b-u-i-l-d-i-n-g--i-s--a-n--e-y-e-s-o-r-e (for a picture, come visit my scrapbook and i). by replacing the 'building' with 'sentence' you should have a clear sense of my feeling regarding question marks....

sooo...where does that leave us? perhaps we should add hypocrisy to the confidence and verbosity that sean attributed to the internet andrew. but first, i must take a break.

to be continued...


Joel said...

I have a dim recollection of this, but unfortunately that must have been the film I accidentally destroyed before it got developed.

The more I read this blog, the more I like it.

andrew said...

that sucks. i guess you'll just have to trust my recollection. too bad i didn't scan the picture.


(because i refer to you?)