How Important is Context and Punctuation?

VERY!  Moreover, this has become even clearer to me as of late, so I wanted to share with you something that recently happened.  I found the experience rather hysterical (afterwards) and you should have seen the expression on my husband’s face.

Here’s my story:

My writer friend, Leanna Harrow, wrote a very funny post about chocolate and with her permission, I’m sharing it with you:

Me: Mmmmm…I’m going to eat one of those…
Myself: You don’t need one of those…
I: Oh! Can I have one too?
Me: No you can’t! I’m going to eat one! I’m sick of listening to myself, I’m always listening to myself, doing the right thing, being nice, eating the “right” things. ENOUGH! I’m going to treat myself regardless what anyone thinks…I deserve it!
Myself: That’s a selfish and self-serving attitude…what’s with you? You’re not usually like this.
I: She’s getting her period…

Myself: Oh God! Then we should eat the whole box and shut her the hell up.

So I commented under her funny post: LMAO! Let me have one!

When I’m checking my email later, I see a comment from Leanna but there’s no context to it and my husband reads it over my shoulder. It says: Did you not hear how selfish she is Author Blakely Bennett??? She’s a real bitch…and not the Beautiful Intelligent Talented Charming Honest kind! Lol

Without the context of the story and my quote, it seems like a horrible slam against me and yet in the correct context, it’s hysterical.

As for punctuation? Punctuation is as important as context to understanding the meaning. I had a brief stint in an online writers group where there was a lot of talk about editing and punctuation and how the standards, for many of the participants, didn’t matter.  Well they matter to me and here’s a good illustration of why:

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Enough said?  Maybe not. :) lol! Editing is an important function in a great story. Grammar and punctuation are the framework for expressing your narrative in a clear and enjoyable manner. You never want to throw your reader out of the story because of strange context or bad grammar.  At least, I surely don’t.

Thanks to Leanna for allowing me to share her Facebook post (very funny stuff).  As always, everyone loves to read your comments and hear about your experiences. Take a moment and let us hear from you.  What’s the weirdest comma dysfunction you have seen? Make us laugh!

Warm hugs,

Blakely

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