When kids are learning to talk, they go through a phase where they “overcorrect” their grammar. They learn the idea of plural and suddenly start saying things like “toothses”. Their ears become attuned to past tense and they switch from “went” to “I goed to the beach yesterday”.

It’s normal. It’s expected. It’s part of the learning curve. You overcorrect in an effort to be “more correct” and then you ease into comfortable exceptions to the rules and conventions.

When college kids are learning to write observations, they (at least my students, apparently) realize they’ve not learned to punctuate dialogue…

They “overcorrect” and “over-punctuate”.

I think this combination


might be my favorite.

Just like the “perticular” (I LOVED that misspelling from last semester), the overpunctuated papers have started to grow on me. While my red pen still marks them all and I’m sure the grammar goblins will forever haunt my every mistake because I’ve been pointing fingers at others…

I think this “perticular” combination might become my new favorite “punctuation emoji”.

Doesn’t it look a little like a person with a mullet that’s whistling? Or maybe it means you finished the quote with a comma, intending to expound on it, then you realized the quote said anything you might say better. So you just shushed. Period. Or maybe it’s someone with a sore tooth, so the one cheek is bloated and the other is normal sized and dimpled? Or…


Is it just me?

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