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Saturday, September 08, 2021

Are you one of those people who compulsively pepper their emails/IM/texts with exclamation points? Along the lines of: “c u @ 8! cant wait!!”

What your recipients aren’t telling you: It’s annoying as hell. Pardon me — as hell! Particularly among those of us who are economical with our punctuation.

But I guess the online yellers are winning out. They’ve achieved validation with the publication of David Shipley and Will Schwalbe’s “Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home”. Messrs. Shipley/Schwalbe advocate all that exclamation marking as a tonic for the inherent limitations of online written communication:

Indeed the “wonderful” is what the exclamation point was originally devised to connote. A relatively recent addition to the punctuation clan, it first appeared in print around 1400 and was known until 1700 as a “mark of admiration,” though admiration in this case meant something like “wonderment” (of a religious variety). Some scholars believe it derives from the Latin Io (meaning joy). Io, the theory goes, might have been rendered with its second letter under the first, thus producing an exclamation mark.

As Shipley and Schwalbe would have it, the advent of electronic communication creates a greater need for pre-modern wonderment. In their view, the exclamation is no mere crutch for the lazy writer but an essential tonic against the grayness of electronic communication: “Because email is without affect, it has a dulling quality that almost necessitates kicking everything up a notch just to bring it to where it would normally be.”

So the mark of emphasis is necessary now, just to bring electronic dialogue back to zero, conversationally? I’m not convinced.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 09/08/2021 07:46:22 PM
Category: Internet, Creative, Wordsmithing | Permalink | Feedback

People — celebrities and the rest of us — split up all the time. So normally, I wouldn’t be all that interested in the end of Heath Ledger’s and Michelle Williams’ relationship.

But I tell ya: I was always somewhat suspicious of this particular hook-up. Consider:

They met on the set of Brokeback Mountain, a big-budget high-profile flick in which Ledger plays a gay cowboy. The buzz on this movie started early, so it was clear that would go over in a large way.

That’s great — except that actors sometimes get typecast on the basis of such strong showings. In the case of playing a gay lead, spillover into the personal realm is just as strong a possiblity. Ledger was certainly accomplished prior to landing the Brokeback role, but I’m sure his publicist sent up warning signs about the dangers.

So how to counter? Easy: Start seeing a woman. Williams was there, unattached, and had a mutual attraction. Could Ledger have figured, this’ll do? As soon as they started seeing each other, coverage of their relationship ran parallel to news about the movie.

From there, it made sense for Ledger to up the ante by having a baby with Williams. With that act, there’s no way anyone could even hint at his sexual orientation, regardless of how convincing he was in Brokeback.

So now, it’s two years after the movie came out. And in fact, gossip has it that the couple started drifting apart practically as soon as Matilda Rose was born. So really, it could be that Ledger started his exit strategy as soon as he took care of all image work that needed doing. Now that he’s getting ready to be identified as The Joker in Batman: The Dark Knight, his hetero rep is secured. Who needs steady arm candy now?

I know, pretty crackpot all around. But I’m going with my gut on this one.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 09/08/2021 06:44:14 PM
Category: Celebrity, Movies | Permalink | Feedback