Thursday, March 21, 2013

Grammar Madness






versus


Ever since I was in college, I have always felt left out of March Madness. I went to Cal, and I remember that everyone was super excited about March Madness, and I was too embarrassed to admit that I had no idea what they were talking about. I was an English major; I knew the Ides of March, Middlemarch, and the March sisters, but I knew nothing about college basketball.

I still don’t. 

But as I was listening to the radio this morning and everyone was going on and on about March Madness, those old college insecurities about feeling left out resurfaced. I made a decision: I want in! 

However, there’s not time for me to properly educate myself about the finer points of basketball (i.e., goals, home runs and touchdowns), so I’ve decided to create a March Madness of my own: Grammar Madness. I want to determine the best punctuation mark. We’ll start with a competition between the exclamation point and the question mark.

 Which one wins, and why?

17 comments:

Stacy McKitrick said...

I say the question mark because you can show someone yelling without using the exclamation mark.

E.J. Wesley said...

I agree with Stacy. The ? is the more versatile of the two. With team ?, you can go big or small with your lineup, and it's equally good on offense and defense.

The ! is all POP and no substance. It's soft in a brash sort of way.

This matchup isn't even close. :-)

Mark said...

I know some of the finer points of the Basketball but I still know nothing, or care anything, about March Madness. As for the battle of the punctuation I think it depends on the competition. A question mark is more useful but I think an exclamation mark would win in a straight up fist fight between the two.

Jono said...

The exclamation mark always wins for politicians. If they can shout louder than the question being asked, then they don't have to answer it. They win! See?

DWei said...

I've stopped using the exclamation mark to be honest. For whatever reason I find using all caps followed by a period to be much more effective. For example. "NO YOU DON'T." sounds better than "No you don't!" to me.

Maybe it's because too many kids use exclamation marks to try and be serious.

Question mark wins.

the late phoenix said...

*puts down reefer*

i agree, i try as much as possible to ban all exclamation points when i type now, ALL CAPS is more effective and more annoying. besides, asking a question with a question mark is a surefire way to get a response back from the blog author *eyes looking up at the ceiling*

i went to Cal, too! (oh, darn)

Jenny, all you need to know for this year: a big school will win the whole thing. i'm still waiting for the next George Mason...

Andrew Leon said...

Personally, I like them together.

I was editing a student's paper earlier, and I think I took out about a dozen extra !s. Of course I also had to take out run on ellipses.

DiscConnected said...

I like the idea of the basketball tournament bracket, but do not follow the sport at all, so usually end up picking Philadelphia area schools (if I even bother at all).

For the grammar madness-I', picking the semi-colon to take it all!

Theresa Milstein said...

I know you're just kidding about homeruns and touchdowns in basketball, right???

Question mark wins. There are rules about not overusing exclamation points in manuscripts. Question marks don't have the same restrictions.

Shelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shelly said...

I think the question mark wins. It's very appearance ensures at least some thought will take place. An exclamation point usually just means a mind is closing due to weariness at seeing it overused.

Genskie said...

For me it's the question mark.
Unless you are so dramatic and you want to show so much emotion on you every line. That's where you need the exclamation point. :P

Yolanda Renee said...

I don't know why but when I comment on blogs I use the exclamation mark, practically after each sentence. I don't know why -- nothing I say is dramatic or even important enough to warrant a ! -- but I do it and don't know why...do you?

I hope the ! wins! :)

Nancy Felt said...

My 13-year old fashionista says the exclamation mark wins because it takes an ordinary sentence and gives it pizazz! My 15-year old tomboy says that the question mark wins because it actually does something useful. I'm a mother so I'll just say that they are both wonderful in their own ways and I don't have a favorite. That goes for the punctuation marks as well. :)

Talli Roland said...

Question mark, definitely. The ! is way too enthusiastic, like a panting dog who slobbers all over you. The ? has that mysterious air of intrigue.

Van White said...

My choice would take it into overtime: the interrobang - which, of course, is a marriage of the two marks.

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