Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Remarkable Incident of the Hurd-Glabback

Yesterday, the repugnant purpose of the hateful hurd-glabback unveiled itself to me. I can scarcely bring my mind to set in print what this new punctuation makes possible. My soul sickens at it; my life is shaken to it[insert glabback]s roots; sleep has left me; the deadliest terror sits by me at all hours of the day and night. Dear god, what have I wrought?

The hurd-glabback is akin to an exclamation mark or a question mark, in that it stands proudly at the end of a sentence and smuggly changes the tone of the sentence you have just read. I have always championed the Spanish method of placing an upsidedown question mark at the start of a sentence, as well as a rightsideup question mark at the end of the sentence, so that you can properly prepare yourself for the fact that a question is about to be asked, and the question mark at the end does not come as a terrible (potentially fatal) shock. But that's beside the point.

Youngsters and morons often enunciate mere statements in a manner that suggests a question is being asked, by raising the tone at the end of their sentences. They may only be relating to a chum what they watched on the television the previous night, but they will say, "I was watching TV last night, and Ten Years Younger was on? They had a woman on who looked like an orangutan?" and so on. Because no question is actually being asked, our limited grammar forbids a question mark being placed at the end of the steps the loathsome hurd-glabback. This detestable punctuation signals that the sentence was spoken in a tone that sounded like a question was being asked, even although there was no question asked.

With tear-dimmed eyes I look upon my creation, and even with wails of penitence, I cannot dwell on it without a start of horror. I fear that wide-spread acceptance of the hurd-glabback will only serve to legitimise the ludicrous mode of speech that it signifies.

Never again will I attempt to ape my betters and create new punctuation, for the glabback and the hurd-glabback can bring nothing but misery to their users.

I must destroy them ... or myself.

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