Democracy Comes To Punctuation City. Exclamation?

Remember when typing was done by qualified professionals? Remember when writing was a skillset only few got paid for? Remember when dinosaurs roamed the earth?

You might find this surprising -I did- but it was the folks who were in charge of printing books, i.e. Printers; who decided which punctuation mark went where.

Printer; a person who’s job it is to work the printing press and print books.

Today, all of us are Printers. We can print our own books, emails, tweets, blog posts, etc. So effectively, we are becoming the elite that determines the future of punctuation marks.

Is there more to it? Does the power shift from the few to many create a chaos? And how will the written language evolve because of it?

Watch the video and provide your insights in the comments section below.

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Dino Dogan

Global Force for Badassery | Founder of Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Writer for Technorati | Speaker | Lousy Martial Artist | Pretty good singer/songwriter | Hi 🙂

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  • Anonymous

    I get a message: This Video is private.

    • stacey

      Hi Stan…I do to Dino?

    • Danny Iny

      Yup, me too. How can we see the video?

    • Dino Dogan

      Sorry…please try again….

  • Bill Dorman

    Uh oh, I got in………..does that mean I’ve got the coder decoder ring?

    What is e-lips see anyway?

    Punctuation used properly can be a very effective writing tool. Unfortunately, the nuts and bolts of english class bored me to tears so I never paid attention anyway. However, I have seen examples of taking the same sentence or paragraph and using good and bad punctuation and how much impact it can have on the meaning.

    As far as big brother doing it for me……… I said, it wasn’t my strong suit so for me it might be a good thing. I a minimalist though and I’m certainly not for more big brother, period.

    Aren’t you on Jersey Shore?

    • Dino Dogan

      An English professor wrote the words :

      “A woman without her man is nothing”

      on the chalkboard and asked his students to
      punctuate it correctly.

      All of the males in the class wrote:

      “A woman, without her man, is nothing.”

      All the females in the class wrote:

      “A woman: without her, man is nothing.”

      Punctuation is powerful 😀

      • Brankica U

        I can see which one is correct, obviously 🙂

  • Anonymous

    (Before anything else: love the headline. Very witty.)
    OK, there’s a lot to mull over. I’ll try to keep it simple.

    My take on this?
    1. Rules emerge from chaos all the time. That’s how the universe came about. Language is no different. It is dynamic and evolving; not a closed system.
    Languages influence each other. Speakers/writers of any given language influence each other. People make mistakes, and popular mistakes are turned into norms. For instance, people now say “I could care less” when they mean “I couldn’t care less.”

    2. Punctuation carries meaning. That meaning is maintained by broad consensus now that anyone can be a printer, as you said.
    That which is not controversial, and does the least ambiguous job in any text — periods (dots), question marks and exclamation marks — is easy to understand, difficult to misuse.

    As for punctuation marks such as the colon (:), semi-colon (;), the ellipsis (…), and others of the kind, only mass usage will determine whether they survive or not. They are not that easy to employ.

    I’ve met a great many people who have trouble with commas.
    The title “Eats, Shoots and Leaves” derives humor from a misplaced comma, as you know.

    I’m going to stop before my comment turns into a lecture on syntax.

    • Dino Dogan

      Thnx dude 🙂

      I like your “Rules emerge from chaos” line…very true 🙂

  • Sheila Atwood


    Any symbol is a form of communication. Letters are are symbols used for communication…putting those letters together to create words, new symbols. Having uniform way of using punctuation follows the same course. It is just a way of making it easy to communicate.

    “A woman: without her, man is nothing.” is a good example.

    Also, punctuation gives writing the cadence of natural speech.

    • Dino Dogan

      I agree of course. I just found it interesting how punctuation evolved and the control of how punctuation is interpreted shifted from the few to the many. Fascinating stuff indeed 🙂


    Well I would say there are times to worry about missed periods, but not when reading blogs written by amateur writers.

    • Dino Dogan

      Can we afford to be amateur writers anymore? 20 years ago, it was a skill select few had mastered. Nowdays, writing is a base skill…like typing is base skill. Wouldn’t you agree?

  • Patricia Millman

    I love punctuation and use it all the time in my post and also in comments on other people’s blogs! One of my friends wrote an article querying why we need to use ??!! and of course I wrote a reply LOL

    I love !!! and also the oft neglected ;;; and have now bumped into a couple of fellow bloggers who enjoy using them too. Yay, we will have some fun with out posts and comments now 😉

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Dino Dogan

      We only need to go back few hundred years and there was NO punctuation marks. There was no period, and there was no spaces between words (space is also a punctuation mark…people forget that, no?)

      Its fascinating to see how far we’ve come along and the democratization of it all (as in, we ALL set the rules of grammar and punctuation nowdays) its just mind blowing.

      Im also a huge fan of ! …I never used the triple ;;; lol …thats got to be one hellova pause lol

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  • David M Karder

    the power shift from the few to many create a chaos.”  Technique and style defines the differences between us. Tired of the “standard,” I agree Dino!