In Absentia

Apologies for a long absence. I took a vacation. I guess you could call it that. We herded our two kids onto two different airplanes and took them all the way across the country to hang out with their grandparents and assorted aunts and uncles. Is that a vacation? It was pretty fun. I ate a lot. I think it counts, even though I’m quite tired and discombobulated as a result. It was nice to be off work for 2 weeks…

I’m beating my head against the wall at work about punctuation. It seems that the advent of Internet EVERYTHING has begun to alter grammar rules that were once hard and fast. (wow, that sounds kind of dirty). I put my foot down with a colleague, telling her that I wasn’t sure about much in life, but that I knew for a certain fact that punctuation ALWAYS goes inside the quotation marks, at least in AP and Chicago style. The defense of this rule that I’ve sworn my life on turns out to be “purely aesthetic.” That’s a bit annoying, but I like things to look nice, so I can go with it. But it seems that computer programmers are at the forefront of messing with this lovely rule because in many cases, putting additional punctuation inside parentheses changes the meaning significantly (to the computer you are coding for…) And in my work as a tech writer, where I draft software usage manuals, etc, I cannot write: Enter “Tag.” when I don’t want the user to enter a period after the word, even if this direction does end a sentence. Here it has to be: Enter “Tag”. Ugh. Ugly.

Plus it makes me wrong. I hate being wrong. Grr.

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