Come Back, Comma, Come Back
Maybe it's because the sky is a little gray today and the clouds are loitering low in the sky, too lazy to move on or to rain, but I'm feeling a bit melancholy. I tried to figure out where the empty feeling was coming from. Holidays are approaching, family is far away, my African violet is looking sickly. All kind of sad, but none responsible for that little ache inside. You know what's really bothering me? I miss the comma.
Specifically, I miss the comma that used to escort the word too into and out of a sentence, and when needed in the middle of a sentence, stand guard on both sides. He's a small thing, the comma, literally. But symbolically, he's one of the Heavy Lifters in written language—tiny but mighty. I'm tired of seeing the little guy pushed around and evicted from situations where he used to reside not only with purpose, but with dignity as well. Too deserves to be flanked on either side by the comma; a small word itself, too also pulls a heavy load, but without the commas can be glossed over, swallowed up, forgotten.
And please: spare me the whole language-is-constantly-evolving diatribe. I know it is. And I can't stop it, but I don't have to like it, and I will duct tape myself to a tree in protest of the bulldozer of linguistic laziness if necessary. In fact, my complaints about the deterioration of the English language are only just beginning, and I've got a whole list of grievances I'll be filing on behalf of the comma alone. I reserve the right to defend the comma and his other punctuation pals on a pro bono basis whenever and wherever the mood strikes. And don't even get me started on the semi-colon or the emdash; those guys have me on retainer already.
Anyway, that's the whole point of having a blog, right? I get to complain about whatever I want, and you, too, can get in on the action. Agree or disagree, at least we're talking about something that matters.