Do you ever sit down here without a clue as to what you might write?  I just opened this and am sitting here staring at a blank screen and feeling as if my head is as empty as this box.  I guess being away from work for two days is cleansing… but if that translates into “empty-headed” I’m in a bit of a quandry.  Let’s put this another way.  There is an absence of stressy thoughts in my head.  And, damn, that feels good.

As a little side note, when you put a word or words in quotes and there needs to be a comma immediately following that word or those words, does the comma go inside or outside the quotes?  I want to say outside but that looks “weird”, and if you look right there, after “wierd,” you will see.  And if you look right there, after the second “weird” where I have put the comma inside, you will see that it also looks wrong.  F— it.  From now on when I use quotes, there will be no comma following, no matter how necessary.

I love having a blog where you can make your own rules.  Some of my own rules are as follows:

1) The word “about” is spelled a-b-o-o-t in honor of my (ever-dwindling) Canadian readership.

2) If I cannot find or don’t know a word I need, I make it up.

3) Screw spellchecker.  Who needs it?

4) There are some things that I just refuse to talk aboot.  Mostly unlady-like things.  But my definition of “lady-like”  is my own, and probly not yours.  Like this blog.

5) If I read back over what I’ve written and it’s bland or unimaginative, I can just stop

15 responses to “INSIDE THE BOX

  1. Is that like me trying to comment in a useful way?

  2. I use the outside the quotes method with the comma, but I have no idea if that’s correct. I think it is, but have been too lazy to confirm it.

    Screw spellcheck? **shudder**

  3. BD, I dunno. I’m not getting you…

    Si, I thought if anyone would know that rule, it would be you…
    I probly should use s-chekker, I know when I go back and read an old post and see a typo, I cringe… but I guess not enough to do anything aboot it.

  4. Here’s what my handy dandy grammar book for school says: Periods and commas are ALWAYS placed inside quotation marks. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS RULE.–Damn, I knew those books would come in handy for something! I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend…you and your empty head!

  5. making your own blog rules is awesome. i am glad that i understand your made up words and i totally get “aboot”.

    i stopped using capital letters a while back. i think it allows my free flowing “stuff” to come out if i’m breaking some kind of rule. somehow.

    but yes, there are days where i have nothing to say. and for me, that is completely alien. b/c usually i have a lot to say about a lot of stuff.

  6. Piglet, my friend, I knew you had to be a rule breaker. Rebelling is so freeing, in’nit? Didja bitch slap anybody lately?

  7. Natalie, you snuck in there, I almost missed you! Thanks so much for the clarification 🙂 I will officially cancel my proposal for not using commas, and I will put them outside, er, inside the quotes.
    I did have a wonderful weekend, you? And now that it is past my bedtime and that infernal Monday is looming, guess what? Yep. My empty head is brimming and threatening to overflow.
    I miss you.

  8. I definitely understand the lack of ideas. It is so frustrating.

    Havoc has trouble with rules.
    TC has problems with spelling, the checker is a life saver.

  9. Actually there are exceptions to the “punctuation-inside-the-quotation-marks” rule. A semicolon or colon must be placed outside the quotation marks according to the Chicago Manual of Style. For example: Linda went to the “store”; she didn’t purchase anything, however. I realize that makes no sense. It’s just for illustrative purposes.

    How nerdy is THAT for a comment?

  10. Spellcheck’s pretty good, but it doesn’t catch everything their is out their, now doze it? As long as what you typed is a word, then spellcheck doesn’t care whether it’s used correctly.

    As far as commas inside quotation marks? I heard a long time ago that there is a time when it’s correct to put the comma outside the quotation mark, but I can’t recall it. You’d think that someone purporting to be a writer would buy a style guide and keep it handy.

    I’ve done neither. Pretty lame.

  11. I often, and I mean often, stare at a blank screen and try to think of what I can write. Sometimes I think that I think too hard.

  12. I never stare at a blank blog screen. It’s not that I’m just so clever that I’m never at a loss for words…rather that I sit down to write so infrequently that I’m usually asking myself which of the two or three blogs I wanted to write I’m going to put into words.

    I love Spell Check and curse it for the bad habits it has given me. I’m a Spell Check junkie.

    As for commas…I wish I hadn’t come to this party late…that’s one of the few grammar rules that I know and use. It looks freakish to put th ecomma inside the “quotes,” but I alwasy try to do it. Shocked…shocked I say…that Simon didn’t know.

  13. TC, it’s hard for me to imagine you with nothing to say… but as for breaking rules, I knew you’d understand
    Why, what’s wrong with yur speling?
    Brian, aka Nerdo thanks for that. I figure if I hang around you enough, some of the schmarts will rub off on me.
    How’s this: I sometimes enjoy an alcoholic concoction which I call a “Mudslide Sno-cone”; it’s a great refresher on a hot day.
    Mark, thanks for substantiating my opinion of spellchecker’s relative uselessness
    I’m sure if you had a style guide, you would keep it “handy”; you’re just smart like that.
    …There is nothing lame about you, dude. Not even the cup saga, really…
    Alvis, there is so little we Really know about you. Next time you have that problem, mail me. I’ll send you a list of topics a mile long.
    Thinking too hard hurts. Don’t do that to yourself, man.
    MG, Nope, can’t imagine you at a loss.
    Watch the spellchecker addiction. You know it can lead to bigger, worse things. I once saw a guy with one of those big-ass Webster’s tomes strapped to his back and his eyes were all glassy and his pupils were HUGE.
    Actually I think the comma looks freakier outside the quotes which is what brought this whole thing up in the first place.
    … So now you know how it feels to come in on the tail end. Somebody’s gotta do it and it’s always me everywhere else. Kinda hard for me to do that here…

  14. Post a video…

    That’s original.

    Or a Top 10.

  15. BD, are you saying I HAVE to post something? Oooooh. It’s hard for me to obey a direct instruction…
    Aye caunt dew it, Captain. 😉
    But you’re just suggesting these things, right? Ok then.

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