Comma Splice

My life is one big comma splice, with everything running together. Everything is spelled right but it just fits together unevenly with a period every month and pauses, caesuras, semicolons made of nothing but caprice. The edges are a little rough, like a ground-glass bottle stopper—at first glance it doesn't seem like all the parts of me should grind together into a tight, smooth fit. They do. Most people just can't see how. All those ideas don't mesh, they think. It's an error in grammar. It's an error in logic.

Opposites attract and x does not always have to equal y,despite what we try to make of it. Such logical errors don't make sense, but that's the way the world works. The idea that language should reflect the world in which it is used, the people by whom it is used, thereby supports the use of the occasional error in logic. That is one reason English is such a commonly spoken language—it breaks the purported rules more often than any other way of speaking could dream of doing.

Not only is it the way of the world, it is also the way I work. Few people understand how pieces of me fit together, with my heavy boots and my dainty sweater. They don't sound right together. Yet when you take a look at the larger picture and see them in context, their harmony is unmistakable. The sections may be spliced into one another with belts—commas, pauses in sentences where I stopped to think. But I'm claustrophobic, you know; I can't stand small, closed-in sentences.

Despite that failing, I have a flair for drama in syntax, emotional expression. That feeling you're left with after the surge of words and ideas in such an aberration is what I live for, the point when the short, dull, stunted thoughts all stop and emotion causes all the details to rush together and form an imprint on your mind the likes of which thoughts could never hope to accomplish for themselves. ...See? The tightened, frantic concentration of words is like the heady rush of cars on the highway speeding by, bombarding the heart with explosive shells of feeling and building a tower of tension. I love every moment of it.

Emotion is the absence of rules, reasons; so when writing of emotions, shouldn't we abandon such rules? Granted, if we abscond with the important ones, then we couldn't understand one another. But to shrug off the thought-oriented ordinances of a particular and altogether too precise linguistic science in favor of an expression and conveyance of heartfelt emotion is sometimes necessary, and I believe I must be the one to make that decision in my own work. One must make such a choice wisely, of course, but you can't allow just any unenlightened someone to take an objective look at you and tell you to fix some alleged error—an error which you fully intended to make and of which they failed to see the point.

But then, they don't understand the fickle splices that form my wardrobe or my thoughts or the widespread use of English in general (or even this essay?), so perhaps the need I find for a temporary defenestration of the rules escapes them as well. No matter. They can have their opinion. I can have mine.

All I'm really trying to say is that here in this existentialistic world we live in, if you make a comma splice, well then, that's your responsibility.


Author's Notes: Well, my creative writing teacher kept trying to mark off points on my papers for 'comma splices.' Yeah, I wasn't about to put up with that. ::wink:: So I retaliated! I'm proud of myself for this one on principle, so I don't care if it sucks. Feel free to review anyway! ::grin:: Thanks for reading. MJ
Date of Composition: February 8, 2005