As we all know, the alphabet and proper punctuation were first made public by PBS thanks to the support of viewers like you.
It was in the late ’60s with first airings of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and Sesame Street that common everyday folk discovered they were empowered to write complete sentences, anytime — for free!
Prior to that, conventional wisdom dictated you really had to be somebody to pick up a pencil and put words together. Someone prestigious like Benjamin Franklin or Roosevelt Franklin.
But in the ’70s, a group of corporate hot shots attempted to lay claim to the institutions of grammar and punctuation for the sake of profit.
They even had the audacity to name their company ABC.
They lured a naive viewing audience into a psychedelic, Froot Loop-charged brand of education known as Schoolhouse Rock.
It was trippy.
Rogers vs. Lolly, Lolly & Lolly was the 1973 landmark case which foiled ABC’s diabolical monopoly scheme. Who will ever forget Fred Rogers impassioned, fire and brimstone shaming of those slick money weasels as he raged from the witness stand, “Stay out of my neighborhood, cereal pimps!”
The jury granted plaintiff a unanimous verdict.
A vindictive ABC retaliated by coercing staff writers to inject poor punctuation in programs marketed to children.
Thus, an epidemic of excessive exclamation point use infected What I Did This Summer theme papers across the country.
This punctuation mutation became known as Punctuation 2.0.
P2 for short.
In 1979, President Jimmy Walker founded the Department of Education for the sole purpose of outlawing P2 from elementary academics, a gesture hailed by educators as “pure dynamite.”
In 1996, P2 was officially embedded in core curriculum after Disney acquired ABC because … Disney.
Now it’s 2018.
Welcome to Punctuation 3.0: The Uprising.
This iteration of contemporary writing makes P2 look like a love letter from Strunk to White.
Essentially, P3 breathes new life into the punctuation game by recruiting lesser known symbols from the outer regions of a QWERTY keyboard.
It all started with #.
Whether you call it pound sign, tic-tac-toe or hashbrown, no one can deny this little guy now dominates when it comes to making a statement really pop.
# can call attention to a pack of mooshed together words more than an exclamation point ever could. #APstyleblows
And what about *?
The asterisk has become your go-to keyboard audio button. Think about it.
You’re on Medium reading -
My day was going great until my taquito fell to the floor.
The writer, in search of punctuation worthy of satisfactorily evoking his heartbreak goes on to write -
*cue wa-wa-waaaa music*
Those bookend asterisks are your equivalent of tapping play on Spotify. That sad trombone is literally echoing in your head, ain’t it?
And that’s not all!
What if a writer wants to animate a character?
<makes distressed, just-lost-my-taquito face>
P3 is YouTube on paper.
Sky’s the limit!
Wanna sentence that reads with Steve Buscemi’s voice?
That’s right! Just use your Steve Buscemi button.
I, for one, embrace Punctuation 3.0 and you should too.
If we don’t, how the hell can we possibly appreciate the emotional depth of any written work?
The answer is
<stares into camera with sad puppy dog eyes>
*cue slow tender Sarah McLachlan* melody*