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Punctuation makes personality.

posted Jan 19, 2011 16:12:14 by Seancorc
The poem, "Sure You Can Ask Me A Personal Question" by Diana Burns seems characterized by its use of short, concise lines and distinct punctuation. The repetition and direct answers contribute to the sense of annoyance the writer feels, but the periods signifying the end of an answer do much to show us that the writer is in no hurry to drag the discussion out. The short, punctuated answers are what one would expect of someone who was disinterested in the conversation or flat out eager for it to be over. The large amount of question marks contribute as well, standing for short questions that seem to be reflecting back to what the other participant in this discussion might be saying, indicating the questions are really more sarcastic and that the writer isn't really interested in what this person has to say. With these cues, we garner the sense of annoyance and restrained frustration from the speaker, which is understandable considering the rather stereotypical and assumptious questions being directed to her. Without this punctuation and usage, the poem may seem sincere and generally kind instead of the combination of sarcasm and forced politeness it expresses as it is.
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2 replies
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Dekeyser15 said Jan 19, 2011 16:31:48
I completely agree that the punctuation creates a certain mood. The writer is most definitely annoyed with having to answer six different questions about her nationality. That is clearly shown in the short answers that are followed by periods. I to feel that the writer was not interested in talking and was deflection questions with new sarcastic questions as if to say I do not want to talk about this with you. Even when the writer says that it was real decent of them to apologize. I find it hard to believe that that kind of topic would not spark greater interest if the writer actually wanted to talk, but instead replied in a short manner to move along.
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festivalfoods said Jan 19, 2011 16:44:18
I couldn't agree more Sean. Obviously the writer of this poem wanted to make it short and simple to the point with the sentences being direct and cut to the point. The author didn't drag the sentences or stanza's along. They were short to the point and by the end of the sentence you could understand why. The author was trying to make a point with the shortness and ended it where it needed to be ended. Towards the end of the poem the stanza's start to get a little bit longer. This shows me that she is coming to an end and trying to make a valid point with everything that had happened. Great job Sean! :)
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