Have I mentioned I’ve got this smart, fabulous 13-year-old reader girl for a daughter? Those facts are relevant because she has a good grasp of punctuation and yet …
Int. Tellulah’s car – day
Me shepherding kid somewhere with iTunes playing. Bohemian Rhapsody comes on. We sing along.
Song ends as we pull into driveway and kid turns to me.
Kid: You know, I don’t get this song.
Tellulah: How so?
Kid: It’s like 3 different songs. There’s a depressed guy, something with a devil, and his mom who killed a guy.
Tellulah: His mom didn’t kill anyone. He did.
Kid: No. ‘Mama just killed a man.’
Tellulah: *busting out laughing* Mama, comma, just killed a man.
Kid: *unimpressed* There is no comma.
Tellulah finds lyrics, hands phone to kid.
Kid eyes it skeptically.
Kid: There is no comma when he’s singing.
While several days later, I’m still laughing (and bugging her with the random “mama, comma” teasing), it actually made me wonder why I knew as a kid who the subject of the sentence was. How did I understand the comma?
Authors need to be aware of punctuation because if not, our transgression is there in black and white for the world to see. But I have to say, I’m impressed with singers who can convey punctuation through emotion and phrasing.
Got any embarrassing punctuation stories of your own? Come on, share them.
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