In the age of the text message, the status update and the tweet, formal punctuation is out. Txt speak,  acronyms and punctuation-free statements are in!

There are even those who say that punctuation is dead. Earlier this year a US academic even claimed the comma could be removed from English with little loss of clarity.

Perhaps Professor John McWhorter should have read this little ditty first. A classic demonstration of how punctuation – and the comma in particular – is essential to clear and effective communication (and copywriting!)

Pity poor John – or not!

Dear John,

I want a man who knows what love
is all about. You are generous,
kind, thoughtful. People who are
not like you admit to being
useless and inferior. You have
ruined me for other men. I yearn
for you. I have no feelings
whatsoever when we’re apart. I
can be forever happy–will you let
me be yours?

Gloria

Wow. Gloria is gaga for lucky John! Or is she…

Dear John,

I want a man who knows what love
is. All about you are generous,
kind, thoughtful people, who are
not like you. Admit to being
useless and inferior. You have
ruined me. For other men, I yearn.
For you, I have no feelings
whatsoever. When we’re apart, I
can be forever happy. Will you let
me be?

Yours,

Gloria

For John’s sake, let’s hope the first version had the correct commas.