I extended my staycation just a teeny tiny bit.  I wish I could say it was all ‘staycation’, but after two weeks off, chaos descended and I had to get ready for my ‘new normal’.

It’s definitely not my ‘old normal’, or ‘back to normal’.  Yes, schools are back, some activities are back, but timetables have changed, and I always have to remember keys, mobile, purse, mask, gloves and hand gel in my handbag as well as the kitchen sink now.

I had a very pleasant surprise when I came back.  A Christmas card was waiting for me on the doorstep.  It was from a very good friend, who I forgave years ago for always forgetting to post my Christmas card.  She was either on the ball this year, or has used lockdown to ‘catch up’ with her 2001 ‘to do’ list.  Either way, I’m putting it up this year because she’s managed to send one!

The worrying thing I came back to was reading an article about how linguists had found out that the full stop is now a piece of punctuation that is offensive and annoying.  It’s what and what??  I understand that the technicalities of language evolve.  For instance, it’s now common practise to have one space after a full stop, not two, when starting a new sentence.  But, seriously, what is going to be next – baton exclamation marks at dawn as the semi-colon and colon fight it out for survival because no one really quite understands the difference anymore?

Schools teach grammar more now than when I was at school.  At six years old they learn the difference between a noun, an adjective, a verb, and an adverb. They learn capital letters at the start of a sentence and full stops at the end.  They even throw in some commas to help them make lists.

It seems a bit ironic that the young generation is learning the importance of understanding the technical elements of language as well as what they do, then somewhere, somehow, in their later years they decide that, actually, the full stop is rather annoying, sometimes offensive, so let’s use something else instead.  The full stop has been around for a long time. But. Does. It. Really. Work?  When used properly, it’s a godsend to understand context, meaning, and general verbal diarrhoea.

There is a time and a place for a full stop and normally it’s at the end of a sentence so that the reader knows when there is a pause in the narrative and it doesn’t go on and on and on and on and you can tell the difference when descriptions are made and scenery changes and generally when to take a breath.

Should we not be applauding the fact that we have now more options stop and have moved on from the old telegram ways stop that there is so much choice now stop let’s celebrate stop

I wonder if James Joyce would’ve taken advantage of the emoji poo in his ‘faeces’ chapter.  He didn’t use many full stops in his very last chapter so might’ve made use of emojis had they been available. 

I can’t see many academic professors being overjoyed at getting an email through from their students to say essay going well, running a bit behind schedule, don’t worry, I will finish it, **big smiley face**

Please, younger generation, if you want to reduce using the full stop, then by all means, carry on, but don’t stop using it.  Some short text lists don’t have full stops at the end of each bullet.  Texting doesn’t always have to have full stops, which saves characters in messages.  But please, don’t discard the full stop completely.  It’s been doing it’s job for centuries; the monks in the seventh century started to develop it, and it’s quite useful and never set out to be offensive.  Honest.

If it’s ain’t broke, don’t fix it! 

Save the dot!