Tag Archives: Joe Miller

Punctuation is FUNdamental

Most major national news outlets covered the leaked angry e-mail from Alaska’s former First Dude Todd Palin to Joe Miller, Alaska Republican Senate candidate, and Tim Crawford, treasurer of SarahPAC, regarding Sarah Palin’s presidential aspirations, qualifications and possible support of Miller. But The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank got my attention, in a recent column in which he poked His-and-Hers fun at Ms. Palin’s made up word and Mr. Palin’s gross misuse of punctuation: “Will somebody please refudiate our fear that there is a serious punctuation problem in the Palin household?”

Here’s the e-mail and here’s your challenge. How many punctuation errors can you count?

Joe and Tim,

Hold off on any letter for Joe. Sarah put her ass on the line for Joe and yet he can’t answer a simple question ” is Sarah Palin Qualified to be President”. I DON’T KNOW IF SHE IS.

Joe, please explain how this endorsement stuff works, is it to be completely one sided.

Sarah spent all morning working on a Facebook post for Joe, she won’t use it, not now.

Put yourself in her shoe’s Joe for one day.

Todd

In the 80-word body of the e-mail, I count eight.

Occasionally, when I notice errors, friends and colleagues advise me to go easy on people, especially if they were not fortunate enough to go to college.

First, I am quick to volley back with the fact that some of the most articulate and punctuation-savvy people I know did not go to college. Second, I’d be the first to acquiesce to this advice if I were pointing out errors pertaining to material taught in college.

But didn’t we all learn basic grammar and punctuation long before college? Spelling certainly isn’t a university level course. Didn’t we have to master these fundamentals in order to get into college?

So, out of Todd’s eight errors, I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt on half, because it was an e-mail he thought no one but its addressees would see and also because I know as well as anyone that some errors might simply be typos.

I’ll ask the English teachers (and English students) who read this blog if they agree. Would you grade Todd on the curve? How many points off for apostrophe abuse, semicolon deficit and misplaced quotation marks? (Notice, Todd, dear, I ended my question with a question mark.)

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