In Praise of the Comma

Yeah, yeah, I know. Studying the Nuance of Properly Executed Punctuation is not exactly high on my to-do list for today either. But let's face it. without, proper. "punctuation? the substance, of a messAge - falls ap'art fairly! (quickly:

Punctuation shapes, defines, highlights, illuminates, clarifies. And who doesn't love the
ka-pow of a grandly placed exclamation point? Or rally against an unjustly located question mark? (Or thrill to hunt the bunny trails hidden within parentheses?) Who has not yet mourned a period that came far sooner than expected, or rejoiced in one that showed up at exactly the right moment?

But how about the comma? Yes, that humble, unassuming little grace mark that dares briefly hold back the passage of time. We catch our breath from all that has just unfolded, and release ourselves from trying to control the outcome of that which is Yet To Come.

So here's to the unsung hero of the punctuation world, the comma. May your day be graced with many.