September 25, 2006

The comma has legs, but the dagger is silent

The best riff on Iraq-as-a-comma was by Ken Layne at Wonkette, who displayed this map, along with the suggestion "How about hitting the bong after the interview?"

Ken added that "Meanwhile, some retired top guns from the Pentagon are on the Hill today demanding Rumsfeld be considered an asterisk … er, 'sent packing.'"

In second place, I guess, was Greg Mitchell at Editor & Publisher, who suggested that

[O]ne can think of other punctuation that might be apt, including "?" for the 140,000 Americans still deployed there, "!" for the cries of the gravely injured, and "$" for Haliburton and other contractors.
Or perhaps, as in the comics pages, when an angry character really wants to curse: "!@#%^&*()#*"
But I'd like to offer one more, the simple period, to replace the hopeful comma. Below you will find some 2,700 periods, each standing for an American life lost in Iraq.

By chance, I read that just before this:

[Update: the comma comes from Gracie Allen! Never mind how the future histories of our time will be worded, it's becoming increasing clear to me that the script for current events is being written by a team that includes Dorothy Parker, Thomas Pynchon and Christopher Buckley.]

Posted by Mark Liberman at September 25, 2006 07:06 PM