So, here we are. I read a tweet this week by someone responding to another tweet who was deeply offended by the tweeter of origin starting their original tweet with "So," and I tried real hard to imagine a world in which I would care about such a thing. You can see which side of the fence I finally came down on.
Then I read this bit about the em dash yesterday and thought well yes, that's me:
You can get along without it and most people do. I don’t remember being taught to use it in elementary, middle, or high school English classes; I’m not even sure I was aware of it then, and I have no clear recollection of when or why I began to rely on it, yet it has become an indispensable component of my writing.
I went back through all the business emails I sent yesterday—it was a lot of emails because I'm very important, as you can imagine—and there wasn't one that didn't include an em dash. Probably the people with whom I work feel I'm addled in some very specific yet harmless way, which is fine and maybe even accurate. I write how I write, man, and I dig punctuation! No harm/no foul. Real talk, though: how do you get along without em dashes? How do you write long sentences without wanting to take a breath? Do you stick to commas (newsflash: I also love commas, parentheses, ampersands & colons), or do you just barrel right through? I'm genuinely curious about this.
This week was also the first time in many moons that I've been forced to wear actual boots built for snow, rather than my sad battered workaday five-year-old Blundstones, which are fine for almost anything other than a deeply freezing clime. My tip for you: get insulated! I yanked these snow boots from the top shelf at the back of my closet and was lucky they still fit, although my left ankle bone did not agree. Last night after work I had to pick up a 3-lb Amazon package from a locker at D'Agostino, which is five blocks from my apartment, and then an 11-lb sack of laundry from the laundry, which is two blocks away, and by the time I got home I was limping from severe ankle bone trauma. If I were a Civil War-era soldier they likely would have to amputate, due to potential gangrene, but I keep a lot of Polysporin and Band-Aids on hand for just such pedestrian emergencies. I'll live, is what I'm saying. But I will give these boots away.