Henry Fowler, in his magisterial Dictionary of Modern English Usage, lay down the rule that the less punctuation a sentence requires, the better written the sentence. It took me years to overcome this unfortunate prejudice. Now a period resembles the smaller of the two cannonballs Galileo dropped in 1589 from the Tower of Pisa; a comma, the lolling tongue of a dog; a colon, start and stop push-buttons; a semicolon, a trouser fly absentmindedly left open; a exclamation point, a bald man doing a headstand; a question mark, a shepherd’s crook or an exclamation point bent over from old age.
Politicians who look like JFK but sound like Hitler on a rant compel the adulation of ignoramuses. Half the country is graffitied with venomous right-wing slogans – All Jews Out, White Power, One People Under One God – and has been for years. Meanwhile, there are some of us who have traveled far and still gotten nowhere, and are now lined up on roofs and bridges, resignedly waiting our turns to jump. Nothing that is happening will seem totally real to millions until conveyed on TV or Twitter. Just from the thud of falling bodies, you might think it was raining stones