Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Columns

March 28, 2013

Lee Ward: Save a life; punctuate correctly: 3/31/13

ASHLAND — I’m not ashamed to say I love punctuation. I enjoy writing a few lines that require carefully placed commas. The challenge of making a name plural possessive excites me. The dilemma of whether to use commas or dashes stimulates me intellectually.

One of the copy editors at The Independent calls me the Punctuation Queen and I was caught recently giving a stringer a lesson on punctuation I imagine made me sound like the biggest nerd in town.

Again, I’m not ashamed.

In fact, I’d be ashamed not to have reverence for the tools of my trade. Plus, I believe proper grammar is a sign of good breeding.

It’s rare to find someone who shares my love of punctuation, but I think I have.

I enjoyed the movie “Jack Reacher,” so when I heard there is a series of Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child, I looked them up.

“Killing Floor” is the novel in which Jack Reacher first appears, so I started reading it.

The book has the elements I like: crime, suspense, a strapping hunk who knows no fear.

At first, I wasn’t that into the story. I knew this when I realized it had taken me a good month to plow through three-quarters of the book, but I have fallen madly in love with Reacher, or Child, I’m not sure which, and it’s all because of punctuation.

Reacher, a tall, good-looking drifter and former military policeman, became tangled in a murder investigation he began helping to solve. He thought he was on track to find evidence against one of the perps, but instead of finding a box full of evidence in the perp’s garage, he found nothing.

While reviewing his paperwork, Reacher realized he’d read the perp’s name wrong. It had ended in “s apostrophe,” not “apostrophe s.” It wasn’t the perp’s garage he should have searched, but the garage of the perp’s parents.

So you see, punctuation doubters, it does matter where you put an apostrophe or a comma. It does change the meaning of what you’re writing. It does show good breeding. (All right, I’m not positive about that one.) Plus, if I think putting punctuation in the right place might help lead a handsome man to my garage, I’m going to put punctuation in the right place.

LEE WARD can be reached at  (606) 326-2661.

1
Text Only
Columns
  • Lana Bellamy: Waking up America's youth: 4/18/14

    I once read a quote by a man saying the reason today’s youth do not have the same “spunk” as youth in the past is because they do not have inspiration.

    April 17, 2014

  • Mark Maynard: Let’s just forget about it: 04/17/14

    The older I get, the more forgetful I become. Does that sound familiar?

    April 16, 2014

  • Uncovering forgotten treasures

    You know the big difference between me and a hoarder? I mean, except that you can walk through my house and there are none of the disgusting aspects of hoarding in my life.
     

    April 14, 2014

  • Political stories worth retelling

    With Kentucky in the midst of the political season, it’s time to share some stories I’ve heard about the art of politicking.
     

    April 13, 2014

  • 0413timbizcolweb.jpg Tim Preston: Great salmon; finding Dr. Amy; and more Maria: 4/13/14

    It isn’t an especially convenient location unless you happen to be going that way, and if you don’t get there within the next couple of weeks you’ll have to wait until fall to try it out, but I had the best lunch I can remember last week at one of the last places you’d likely think of when pondering where to eat.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Restaurant horror stories; garden planning tips

    In my couponing classes, I always had fun with everyone by telling them gross restaurant stories. In encouraging them to eat at home more and save their money, I was also teaching them how much cleaner it is.
     

    April 12, 2014

  • Feeling happy is ...

    Anyone hoping the Ashland-Huntington area will soon overtake Disney World as “the happiest place on Earth” will be waiting awhile.
     

    April 10, 2014

  • 0410markcol.jpg Mark Maynard: Brick House (South Ashland Florist) brings in $13K so far: 04/10/14

    Here’s a 14-name salute coming your way:

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Cannon: Take this joint, please: 04/09/14

    Some of the things that occurred during our recent week in Jamaica were unexpected and even a bit weird. I suspect those will be the things we will still clearly remember long after the memories of the hours of lying on the beach have faded. I started to mention them in last week’s column, but opted to save them until a later date in the interest of length.

    April 8, 2014

  • AARON SNYDER: March Madness, sadness for Cats

    It’s just another game. That’s the message John Calipari preached profusely throughout the 2014 NCAA tournament. It’s typical coachspeak, but Cal’s young Kentucky team clung to the step-by-step approach to produce atypical results.

    April 8, 2014