Has anyone heard about the pomma point? Bierma describes it in his most recent language collumn. Apparently Torque Market Intelligence developed it as a new punctuation mark to connote mild joy, vague happiness or heightened indifference. The example they gave is the congratulations (perhaps for a birth of a baby) you might give a client or colleague whom you don't know that well. It's a horizontal line with a period at the end. It'll be interesting to see if it takes off.
Apparently few linguists think it will make it. The only notable new punctuation mark in recent times was the "interrobang," which is a combination exclamation mark and question mark that was developed in 1962. Yet, hardly anyone uses it now.
Bierma says with our computing culture emoticons are often used in similar situations, such as "Congratulations on the birth of George :-)" Yet, many don't like emoticons (including a few here on Wordcraft).
Since relatively few writers (outside the confines of this board, of course) know how to use existing punctuation marks accurately, I shudder to think what further solecisms another punctuation mark would perpetrate!
Posts: 8038 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UK
I, too, can't see this catching on. The interrobang did seem to fulfil a need of sorts, but that has been consigned to the list of decent ideas that failed. I can see far less need for this latest idea.
Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
It is hard to imagine one's vocabulary being so paltry as to require a punctuational prop in order to convey these transient forms of.. shall we say, ennui?
There is the question as to whether such weak-kneed emotion merits written transmittal at all. Frankly, if I'd just given birth, I think I'd rather not be signaled quite so baldly that my colleague greeted the blessed event with "heightened indifference"!
Posts: 2495 | Location: As they say at 101.5FM: Not New York... Not Philadelphia... PROUD TO BE NEW JERSEY!
There is the question as to whether such weak-kneed emotion merits written transmittal at all.
That was my thought, too, Bethree. And I agree that the "birth" example just didn't do it for me. A birth should always connote joy, so perhaps the "heightened indifferent" person just shouldn't say anything.