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Abundance of commas, dearth of vowels

I got Jay a copy of Eats, Shoots & Leaves, being that he has a pedantic attention for grammar and punctuation. Within four days of that purchase, I now find my self in possession of two e-mails that either demonstrate that the authors have broken keyboards, or they are engaging in some form of performance e-mail art.

Good Morning Everyone!

Hope everyone is well and had a good weekend.

STUDENTS ONLY - (Name removed)'s computer system is not fully functional, at this time. She has requested that I ask you to please, if you have orders, to be placed, to walk your orders to her and she will place them, for you, at another computer. For those of you who sent e-mails, with your orders, last week, to also, please hand carry them, fully composed, to her, for submittal, in Oracle.

Thanks so much.

(Name removed)

and this one from a shipping company, which is apparently bill their e-mails by the vowel or sends them via telegraph:

good morning i have been advd by your agent overseas that we have a cod due at this time on your shpt from the steamship lines that is for documentation and terminal handling charges

the amount for this is usd xx we have been advd that is is to be collcted from you at time of dely so be prepared at this time to pay this amount day of dely of your goods

if you have any questions on your move, please contact (name removed) at (number removed) he will be following up on your shpt thanks

Comments (1)


Hey Ken--

Thanks so much for the book--it was both informative and hilarious. Reading a book on punctuation is an interesting experience: at times, my raging instinct to edit forced me to put the book down. The author's grammar not only betrayed both her nationality and educational pedigree, but also occasionally infuriated me (don't split your verb phrases! omit needless words!). I understand better now why some people have told me they hate letting me read their work.


PS. In other (oddly related) news, I met this beautiful girl who told me she becomes apoplectic when she encounters "less" used in place of "fewer." Heaven really is a place on earth.

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