Posted by: P. K. | 28th July, 2008

Modern punctuation

If you are annoyed by the mob’s comma, you’ll be equally amused by a new punctuation mark I’ve found today.

Hyphen-hyphen-greater-than.

Or, put it symbolically, this: -->. See this for a sample usage.

I know — emoticons (like \m/, your ass) have become well-accepted as a new form of of expressing oneself in the digital age. I use them liberally. But, at least, while emoticons take on the form of punctuation marks (as in semi-colon-hyphen-P), at least no one would mistake them as functioning as punctuation marks (except, well, in the ambiguous cases where a 😀 is used to end a sentence or, as in the following case, a bracket is ended with a :)).

But this one — the hyphen-hyphen-greater-than (or what should I call it? Implies? Element selection through pointer operator? Close comment, HTML style?) — is clearly used to link up to clauses. It functions like a dash, but seems to mean more — it seems to imply an “implies” relationship between the two clauses. And I don’t know whether this added meaning makes it a great addition to our formal language, or a sad one.

I wonder what’s the next addition to our punctuation world from the geek world. How about /* I am running out of steam here! */ the comment operator /* */ to add spices to a sentence? Or using the assignment operator (=) to substitute the various forms of “be”? In any case, I just wish that we’d never get infected by the practice of ending sentences with a semi-colon;

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