Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I'm Not That Kind of Girl



I think about fanny packs a lot. They're genius, right? A fanny pack would be perfect for one of those nights at the bar that seems like it’s going to be totally chill, but then everyone has a little too much to drink and there’s really good music playing on the jukebox and all of a sudden it turns into an awesome dance party. You want to dance, but it’s hard to really get down while carrying your purse because it keeps sliding down your arm. So you put your purse on the bar stool, but then you can’t really get down because you keep checking on your purse. 

I feel like I should get over myself and get one. I mean, we all should if we’re honest with ourselves. But I know I never will. I just don’t see myself as the kind of girl who wears a fanny pack. They got such a stigma back in the 80’s; I just can’t. 
 
In a similar vein, I won’t use emoticons. The longer they’re around and the more I email and text, the more I realize that they really do help convey the appropriate tone. But I just don’t see myself as the kind of girl who uses emoticons. 

What I use instead of a smiley face is the exclamation point. That perky little punctuation mark does to a sentence what an umbrella does to a cocktail: makes it impossible to take that seriously. When I want to convey a lighthearted tone, I simply place an exclamation point after my sentence.

I thought I was the inventor of using the punctuation mark for tone, but I was wrong. I just read an article that claims that ending a sentence with a period in a text message does to a sentence what red does to a bull: makes it angry. The article says, “I’ve noticed it in my text messages and online chats, where people use the period not simply to conclude a sentence, but to announce ‘I am not happy about the sentence I just concluded.’”

Is punctuation as tone setter a new trend? Does that question mark I just used simply indicate that I just wrote an interrogative sentence, or does it mean that the sentence reveals that I am emotionally confused? If I use a comma, does that mean that I'm feeling hesitant?

What tone does a semicolon convey?


21 comments:

susie said...

You lost me at fanny pack. I still have one. I wear it sometimes.

I just started a new blog five minutes ago.

Kelly Polark said...

I love emoticons!!! (and exclamation points)

I wish fanny packs were cool. It would be much easier for concerts so I could throw the devil horns and dance more easily. :)

Andrew Leon said...

periods mean angry
wait
how can I make any of this a question
I don't know what it means anymore
and what does that apostrophe say
confused
:)

Shelly said...

I don't use emoticons or fanny packs, but I do use punctuation to convey tone from time to time. What DOES a semicolon convey?

the late phoenix said...

:)

Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger (大哥) said...

That is hilarious that you call them fanny packs! In England they have always been called bum bags as we tend to wear them back to front!

P.S. I used two exclamation points in this comment.

Felt Family said...

I use emoticons. And exclamation points. And I hate missed periods (See what I did there?) :) What I find myself using even though it's totally out of place is an ellipses. In my mind it seems to convey so much...

Jono said...

Maybe we could invent some new punctuation marks to denote more nuances in our writing. :)

DiscConnected said...

I'm too lazy to figure out how to use emoticons-I consider it a compromise that I will even text.

I did not know anyone wore fanny packs any more...I still have a couple in a box in my closet. Hold onto something long enough and it eventually comes back in style...

My latest "Back In The USSR" post wanders a little into this blog's turf...

Larry

thea said...

Periods mean angry? really? I thought all caps meant that, or is that just yelling.

Don't use a fanny pack but they really are useful -- perhaps a bag across the shoulder, a small bag.

I find myself using elipses and dashes/hyphens a lot, but I don't think they convey any sort of emotion, or rather they're not intended to.

Theresa Milstein said...

I haven't not noticed angry periods at the end of a sentence. I'll have to look out for them. (Note: the previous sentences were not angry. Nor are these ones.)

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm with Theresa - I'm going to have to put disclaimers on all my sentences from now on!

Memphis Steve said...

I've broken down and embraced emoticons. But I also use periods, comas and exclamation marks. What I can't bring myself to embrace is LOL and ROTFL. And especially not LULZ. I just can't. Its like NFL players wearing pink - so wrong for so many reasons.

Bijoux said...

Fanny packs are a godsend when going to amusement parks. It's a bummer that they are so uncool.

I'm guilty of overusing exclamation points, but in my defense, I do talk excitedly most of the time!

Stephanie said...

Re: fanny packs. Don't ever call them that in the UK. What Duncan politely did not say is that "fanny" means something entirely different over there, which I found out to my great embarrassment when I first arrived in Scotland. Eek!

Jo Antareau said...

Hmm, I seem to remember a time when the girls threw their bags and purses on the floor and danced around them. Fine for a gaggle of single girls who really didn't expect to dance with men, but a bit awkward if you want to waltz with somebody.

But, yeah, dont do the fanny pack thing. Kind of has the elegance of the scrunchee - and remember how the SITC girls repsonded to them? (Hmm I wonder what Carrie's response to the emoticon would be?).

As for the hidden message in punctuation - give me a break. All punctuation is a form of good manners. It's courtesy to take the time to insert them in order to help your reader know when to pause between words, and discern between a comment and question, and get what you're trying to emphasise. Except for the semi-colon. It has always and will always say "I'm over-educated and like to show it".

Jo Antareau said...

Hmm, I seem to remember a time when the girls threw their bags and purses on the floor and danced around them. Fine for a gaggle of single girls who really didn't expect to dance with men, but a bit awkward if you want to waltz with somebody.

But, yeah, dont do the fanny pack thing. Kind of has the elegance of the scrunchee - and remember how the SITC girls repsonded to them? (Hmm I wonder what Carrie's response to the emoticon would be?).

As for the hidden message in punctuation - give me a break. All punctuation is a form of good manners. It's courtesy to take the time to insert them in order to help your reader know when to pause between words, and discern between a comment and question, and get what you're trying to emphasise. Except for the semi-colon. It has always and will always say "I'm over-educated and like to show it".

Ruth Schiffmann said...

My daughter says a period in a text message is like saying "I'm done." She takes it to mean the texter doesn't want to converse any longer. Now I will think twice before punctuating my texts.

cestlavie22 said...

Its so funny you bring this up because I have just recently become very aware of my "periods" ( no not that kind). Because when I end a text with a period my bf almost always replies with "whats wrong?" I have since learned that if I am not angry I need to be careful about the punctuation I choose in text. Such an odd new trend.

Yolanda Renee said...

I hate the fanny pack - so unattractive. I can't imagine dancing with one flapping around during a fast dance or getting close during a slow dance. "Is that your fanny pack or are you just glad to see me?" Wear something with a pocket and leave your purse in the trunk. Really what do you need except your car keys?

I'm so glad I don't text! I still haven't figured out punctuation for 'normal' writing!

Romance Book Haven said...

I wonder how a ballroom dance would look like with a fanny pack around?

Nas