Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Big Bang Theory

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?

6 comments:

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Cute comparison :) I'm not sure about the colon though ... I really think it should be a semi-colon. (???) ;)

Bethany Elizabeth said...

*sigh* Mom's just never understand, do they? My mother never understood why I would be fifteen minutes late to school rather than skip a shower. Just throw it in a ponytail, she said, but ponytails aren't that simple anymore. :)
Anyway, cute post. :) And yes, I definitely want to master the art of punctuation now.

Theresa Milstein said...

Oh I was jealous of girls like you. I had curly hair and couldn't participate in the brushing, teasing, and spraying. I just had frizzy, curly, moused hair. And tragically, curly bangs. Gad!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Mom's always seem to miss our perspective. But then that seems fair since we seem to miss their perspectives as well. Hair is such a big deal when we're young -- or old : see all those balding men comb that sad little strand of hair over their glaring patch of scalp! Roland

Rick said...

This got me thinking, I always write "80's bangs" but you wrote "80s bangs" without the apostrophe. Am I wrong? Or is it another one of those "either-way-is-cool grammar rules?"
After all, its the 80s, and Frankie Says Relax, it's just an apostrophe. I'll sit here drinking this Tab while waiting for your answer.

Missed Periods said...

Rick, I'll get back to you on that. I'm just enjoying this delicious cup of Sanka.