Lynne Truss’s surprise bestseller Eats, Shoots and Leaves has already stressed the importance of punctuation on a life and death scale – careless comma use can lead to the murder of innocent waiters, the book teaches. But did you know that improper punctuation can play havoc with your love life as well? Here's how they teach it in school:
Jill has her eye on strapping classmate Jack. Being a bright girl, she crafts a letter that’s sure to win his heart:
I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous,
kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and
inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you; I have no feelings
whatsoever when we are apart. I can be forever happy - will you let me be
Heart-warming, isn't it? However, Jill accepts that fact that appearances can be deceiving and is acutely aware of the ever-increasing divorce rate. Using her extensive knowledge of punctuation and sentence structure, she rewrites the letter for any possible future requirements. Now, if Jack dares to mess her around, she can tell him where to go in a witty, intellectual way. Watch in wonder:
I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous,
kind, thoughtful people who are not like you. Admit to being useless and
inferior! You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings
whatsoever. When we are apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be?
The sheer brilliance of what she has done here should not be underestimated. I hope this has been a relevant demonstration of the importance of punctuation. Class dismissed.
After much Googling I still can't find any original author for this. It seems it did the rounds as a piece of email humour a while back and subsequently there are hundreds of uncredited versions of it. If anyone knows the source, please /msg me and I'll add it to the w/u. Special thanks to Swap for the heads-up.