Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Weird dream no 5

I dreamt that all punctuation had been banned. There was a huge task to complete to remove every hyphen, inverted comma and apostrophe from all text everywhere. Missing something was a dangerous business and led to some serious reprimand by murky, invisible authority figures at the best. Editors were responsible for implementing this reign of punctuational terror, but removing the marks that signpost people's way through words was a heartbreaking endeavour for us.

Over time, tinker types would collect the unused punctuation marks and repurpose them into weapons. En dash daggers were a big thing on the post-apocalyptic black market. More sophisticated contraptions could be fashioned from semi-colons, with buttons and levers, but no-one used them for good - only to perpetrate acts of violence in an increasingly sinister state.

Words and people's faces became haggard and tired without the guiding principles of punctuation to show us the way through the opacity of language and our existences. Whispered factions reminisced about the golden days of the Oxford comma. We all lost a bit of our selves and the whole world lost hope.