My mom (circa 1985): Jenny, come on. We’ve got to go.
Me: Wait. I just have to fix my bangs.
My mom ten minutes later as I emerged from the bathroom in an Aqua Net haze: Your bangs look the same as they did before.
I don’t blame my mom. Growing up with the long, straight hair of the 60s, she simply hadn’t cultivated the eye required to appreciate the nuances of 80s bangs perfection. The 80s bangs had to have just the right height, curl, tease, and stiffness. It was really more like sculpture than anything.
Punctuation can do for writing what a good curling iron, hairspray and patience can do for 80s bangs; it can help achieve just the right effect. Punctuation marks are not always interchangeable; however, once you have mastered punctuation, you can use it to create a slightly different empahsis.
For example, in the following sentence I opted for a colon.
Your bangs look totally rad: they look just like Debbie Gibson’s.
I could have used a period after rad. I could have even used a semi-colon. However, I prefer the colon because it’s like a drum roll. It lets the reader know that I’m about to tell them what the bangs look like.
I could have even used a dash:
Your bangs look totally rad- they look just like Debbie Gibson’s.
The dash adds a little hop to my voice, a little more excitement.
See? Isn’t this fun?
Doesn't it make you want to master the art of punctuation?
Or did I inhale too much Aqua Net?