Archive for the ‘Funny’ Category

Your Punctuation Personality Type

September 24, 2015

In honor of National Punctuation Day, I give you the Punctuation Personality Type. This was originally a guest post on the blog of author Brian Thomas Schmidt.

Find Your Punctuation Personalty Type

A recent (totally made up) scientific study analyzed what your favorite punctuation mark means about you. Every writer, every person, over-uses and abuses at least one punctuation mark. Here’s what your particular weakness means about you:

Period (.): Type A personality. You are decisive and clear. You have no difficulty with setting limits. Often a stodgy person that no one else thinks is any fun to hang out with. You tend to be good with technology and have the latest gadgets.

Comma (,): The peacemaker. You like to help others, and you get along with everyone. You like to make sure people understand each other. You like clarity as much as the Period type, but, unlike him, you don’t subscribe to the “less is more” theory. You believe more information is better than not enough. For this reason you sometimes confuse others and can become tiresome. But, in general, you’re fun, or at least tolerable, to be around. If not, you can make people think you are.

Exclamation point (!): You are excitable and anxious. You don’t self-censor well and think that your opinion always matters. You use italics a lot in written communication. You get nervous easily and are often too loud. You’re either an overly-affectionate or a mean drunk. You’re fun at parties.

Question mark (?): Indecisive and uncertain. You over-analyze. You may be shy and have low self-esteem. People usually have no idea you’re there.

Colon (:): You like things to be well-delineated. Much like the Period type, you like order. You make lists. People always know where they stand with you. You usually get asked to organize the office parties and school functions.

Semi-colon (;): You’re well-read and urbane. You knew where this was on the keyboard before it became part of the winky emoticon. You’re more easy-going than Colon or Period types, but you’re still put together and usually organized. People are comfortable around you and tend to like you, though they may not be able to say exactly why.

Hyphen (-): You like having fun. You are often creative and are very social. You like throwing parties, though you may call on your Colon type friends to organize them. You’re more likely to be impulsive and throw unlikely things together. No one would be surprised that your decor is shabby-modern or artsy-classic.

En-dash (–): If you knew this was a different mark than the hyphen, you are way too into punctuation. You’re either an editor or a schoolteacher, or else no one likes you. At all.

Em-dash (—): You’re stuck up and pretentious. You correct people’s grammar and complain about how stupid kids are these days. You like to show off. You made good grades in school and perform well at work. Your boss loves you, even if your co-workers don’t.

Parentheses ( () ): You’re scatterbrained. You throw things together at the last minute. You’re often hopping back and forth between different tasks and think you’re multi-tasking. You tend to bore people with your stories because you think every detail is important and you repeat yourself. You are often sarcastic but are good at making other people laugh, often at someone’s expense. (Including your own.)

Ellipses (…): An indecisive and flighty person. You lose your train of thought easily. You are a follower and like to let other people take the risks. You often misplace your keys or spend ten minutes looking for the glasses you’re already wearing.

Apostrophe (‘): You’re casual and carefree. You’re always the one who has random things in your purse or glove compartment that no one else would think to carry around but somehow you end up in situations where it’s a good thing you had that thumb-tack on you. You have lots of friends, usually without really trying. People just like you.

Quotation Mark (“): You aren’t very original. You tweet famous quotes a lot. You are nosy and like to gossip; mostly because you don’t have anything of substance to add of your own. People like to hang out with you for a coffee break but don’t really consider you a friend.

Slash (/): You’re a complicated and complex person. You can be secretive and have a hard time trusting people. You like to keep your options open. You’re the respectable housewife your friends will be shocked to see coming out of the S&M club.

Brackets ([ ]): You are snobbish and self-important. You are likely to use these to add “[sic]” to other people’s comments. You have no friends and probably have a “kick me” post-it on your back right now.

Asterisk (*): Nothing is ever final with you. You can justify anything and have an excuse for everything. You would make a good lawyer. People either find you entertaining, or really boring, because you know lots of random trivia.

Ampersand (&): You like stuff. You collect things and are a packrat. You’re friends with everyone, whether they know it or not.

At symbol (@): You’re very social, sometimes overly. You’re the one who always takes a phone call in the middle of a conversation. You also spend way too much time online. Go get some fresh air. Taking your iPhone out on the porch doesn’t count.

Hash/pound (#): Much like the @ type, you’re online too much, but, unlike @ types, in real life you have few friends and are reclusive. Before the internet, you called customer service lines just to have someone to talk to.

Bullets (•): You have OCD.

Interrobang (?! or !?): You have a multiple personality disorder. Seek help.

Don’t miss the follow up: The Grammatical Error Personality Type

Dead Lines

June 29, 2012

Just a little silliness inspired by a Twitter conversation this morning involving @FantasyFaction, @PVBrett, and @PrinceJvstin. It made me think of @MykeCole‘s Control Point, so he got a mention too. It makes so much more sense if you’ve read their books and/or follow them. Which I recommend anyway.

So here it is, the start of a short wherein writers are kept as slaves to their audience.

Dead Lines

The rain was hard and ruthless, throwing up sprays of water from the puddles collecting in the dark prison yard. A cliché if I’d ever written one. Too bad this wasn’t just the product of one of my bad writing days. The rain was a frigid reminder, dripping down the neck of the prison-issue poncho—I’d have given a lot for this to be nothing more than a badly turned phrase.

“Keep moving, Petersen!”

Fac, everyone’s least favorite guard, stood on the wall, glaring down at me, his hands twitching on the shotgun. Some days it seemed like his tenuous grip on self-control was all that stood between us and the prison graveyard.

I shuffled back into motion, catching a wry grimace from Brett. “Fac’s in a good mood today,” he muttered. “He didn’t even threaten to shoot you.”

I didn’t look back him; conversation wasn’t allowed in the yard. “It’s cause I got five thou’ on the Regency YA paranormal science-fantasy yesterday,” I mumbled back.

“The one with the cannibals?”

I just dropped my head forward in a subtle nod.

“Your own, or did Weimer slip you some again?” Cole, ahead of me, said, his lips barely moving.

“Shut up, asshole,” I hissed. “You’ve had writer’s block before too.”

He didn’t reply. I watched him. His walk had the flavor of a march to it. I’d always thought he looked like he held himself as if there should be a gun in his hand. Maybe it was my imagination, ‘cause he wrote military. But I wondered if he’d been a soldier on the outside. Not that it mattered anymore, what any of us had been. We were writers now, and that was all we were.

“Inside!” shouted Nine, standing at the door to the inside. “Let’s go, writers!”

We trudged past her, that incredible rack, and that gun-arm of hers, back into the dubious comfort of the common room. They’d removed a lot of her cyborg stuff since Cole conjured her, in a careless flash of inspiration and exhaustion. But one thing they kept was the gun arm. It was really too bad that she couldn’t have been on our side. But she was Fac’s, just like everything we created here.

“Break time’s over,” she barked. “Back to work!”

We filed back into the work room, turning, one by one, into our chain-link cubicles and the typewriters waiting there. That was all we got. Pencils could be weapons. Scifi writers couldn’t be trusted not to hack computers. Only thing you could do with a typewriter, besides write, was throw it. And they’d bolted them to the tables after Schmidt tried that.

Nine followed behind, snapping the leg restraints on each of us as we sat down.

I glanced around as I lifted my hands to the keys, just in time to see Brett idly push up the edge of his sleeve as he did the same. The crisp-black edges of the tattoo made my heart stop.

“Shit, Brett, are you trying to get us all killed?”

He pushed the sleeve back down so fast his hand was only a blur of movement and I wondered what that tat would look like if I could see the whole thing. And what it could do.

“Shut up,” he hissed.

I thunked back against my chair, my heart beating again, wild and frantic with fear and a desperate hope.

“When’d you do that?” I whispered, my eyes locked on the keys in front of me.

“Been working on it,” he said.

“Finish it?”

He tipped his head forward.

“Shit,” I whispered to myself.

“Cole ready too?”

His head dipped again.


“Gave me the signal this morning at chow.”

Shit. This might really happen.

“You sure you’re good for your part?” he whispered.

The familiar resentment flared hot in my face. Them with their proven, published magic. Just because mine had been scifi. Boys. Always wanting to prove theirs was bigger.

“You just worry about your own business.”

“It is my business if you can’t come through and we all get—“

“Shut it, Brett, and work!” barked Weimer. “This ain’t social hour.”

We shut it and I saw a shiver run over Brett. Probably just as relieved as I was that it had been Weimer who’d snuck up on us and not Nine. Or Fac.

Weimer was on our side. Slipping us word count when we were short, passing on info about security weaknesses and helping us hide our powers. He even pretended he didn’t know about the pruno I brewed up for my muse. And he was helping us escape. Tonight.

Grammatical Error Personality Type

June 18, 2012

As a follow up to last week’s wildly popular Your Punctuation Personality Type, a post Bryan Thomas Schmidt, @BryanThomasS hosted on his blog, we’ve dug through the (imaginary) research archives for similar studies.  Not only is English the most widely spoken language in the Western world, but most of us sat through torturous high school English classes that should have cured us of our grammatical errors. Yet we all have grammar issues that trip us up in writing. A recent (totally made up) study examined what your grammar weakness means about you. - Let's meet offline to lower the odds of me being turned off by your shoddy grammar and punctuationRun-on sentences: You don’t know when to stop. You never shut up and you never stop going. People find you and your nervous energy nerve-wracking. You tend to have trouble with moderation. You can’t eat just one.

You work well with: Comma, Hyphen, Exclamation, At Symbol

Avoid: Period

Comma splice (comma used to separate two simple sentences): You have trouble setting yourself apart from others and tend to blend into the crowd  Not assertive enough to use a period, confident enough to use a semicolon, wacky enough to use parentheses, or snobbish enough to use an em dash, you’re always looking to someone else for acceptance or permission. You have a hard time saying no to people. You may be described as a wannabe or as trying too hard.

You work well with: Comma, Question Mark, Ampersand, Hash

Avoid: Brackets

Incomplete sentences, Split infinitives, Beginning a sentence with a conjunction, Ending a sentence with a preposition: You’re a rebel and like to live on the edge. You know these aren’t really errors but that editors dislike them and they make people over 50 twitch. You like to stick it to the man. You may be a daredevil and/or a drug user.

You work well with: Slash, Apostrophe, Hyphen

Avoid: Em dash

Using an apostrophe for plural: You are the confident, laid back type. You give the orders, someone else handles the details. You can bullshit your way through most things. You have colleagues and followers more than you have friends.

You work well with: Em dash, Asterisk

Avoid: Question Mark

Missing serial or Oxford comma: You’re British.

You work well with: Semicolon, Full Stop (Period)

Avoid: Ellipses

Using adjectives in place of adverbs (“ly” words): You are very social and like to hang out. You’re too busy having fun to care how those stuck-up writing people use language. You are at every party. You have 500 contacts in your phone and don’t remember who half of them are. You may be in college.

You work well with: Hyphen, Comma, At Symbol, Parentheses

Avoid: Hash - It's not you, it's your grammar.

Using “suppose” for “supposed” or “of” for “have”: You need to read a real book once in a while. Facebook is not a real book, and doesn’t count.

You work well with:  Quotation Mark, At Symbol, Ellipses

Avoid: Brackets


Using “I” when “me” is correct (example: He gave the candy to Jane and I.): You follow the rules. You are so afraid of being wrong by using “me” when you should use “I” that you always use “I” and therefore still get it wrong half the time, just the other half. You were the teacher’s pet and are the boss’s favorite. You apologize a lot.

You work well with:  Question Mark, Period, Brackets

Avoid: Bullets

Homonyms/Homophones (you’re/your, their/they’re/there): You tend to be wrapped up in yourself or your own world. You can be casual to the point of carelessness. You’re not very observant and you’re never on time. You think the rules apply to other people. You’re the one who won’t remember the name of the person you wake up in bed with.

You work well with: Ellipses, Apostrophe

Avoid: Semicolon

Who/Whom: You’re one of the good guys. You like to have fun and you have a lot of friends. You don’t want to know when you should use “whom” because who says that anyway besides pretentious twats? You spend a lot of time on Facebook.

You work well with: At Symbol, Ampersand, Comma

Avoid: Quotation Mark

Whom/Who: (using “whom” when “who” is correct): You’re the pretentious twat.

You work well with: Em dash, Brackets

Avoid: Ellipses

Its/It’s: You are dedicated and responsible and make a lot of sacrifices. You’re the one who worked your butt off to get a C average while the nerds got A’s just by showing up to class. You let that sort of thing motivate you, though, and you get ahead by being consistent and reliable rather than because you’re particularly skilled or talented. People admire your work ethic.

You work well with: Comma, Semicolon, Period

Avoid: Em dash

Affect/Effect: You are easygoing and fun to be around. You know a lot of things, but the difference between these two words isn’t one of them. You make other people feel comfortable and like to make sure everyone is included. You were popular in school but stood up for the kids getting dumped into the trash cans after lunch.

You work well with: Comma, Parentheses, Ellipses,

Avoid: En dash

Use of ALL CAPS: You are either still trying to get a handle on this newfangled thing called the Internet, or you’re a complete moron.

You work well with: Ampersand, Exclamation

Avoid: Hash

Special thanks to Gabrielle Harbowy, @gabrielle_h for editing this for ~ahem~ grammatical errors.

Your Punctuation Personality Type: A Guest Post

June 11, 2012

I’m guest posting over on the blog of Bryan Thomas Schmidt, @BryanThomasS, with a funny called Your Punctuation Personality Type.

It’s sort of a combo of Jung and Briggs Myers and your daily horoscope that I totally pulled out of my ass.


Your Punctuation Personality Type

Why All Writers are Secretly (or not so much) Schizophrenics

June 2, 2011

They’re trying to hide it, with varying levels of success, but, as you suspected, writers are all, in fact, closet schizophrenics.

Let’s look at the definition of schizophrenia, from that renowned, infallible bastion of knowledge, Wikipedia:

A person diagnosed with schizophrenia may experience hallucinations (most reported are hearing voices), delusions (often bizarre or persecutory in nature), and disorganized thinking and speech. The latter may range from loss of train of thought, to sentences only loosely connected in meaning, to incoherence known as word salad in severe cases. Social withdrawal, sloppiness of dress and hygiene, and loss of motivation and judgment are all common in schizophrenia.[6] There is often an observable pattern of emotional difficulty, for example lack of responsiveness.[7] Impairment in social cognition is associated with schizophrenia,[8] as are symptoms of paranoia; social isolation commonly occurs.[9]

Now we’ll take these one at a time:

A person diagnosed with schizophrenia may experience hallucinations (most reported are hearing voices)

Ask any (honest) author. They hear them. The author will write down what the voices are saying to give them some legitimacy, but regardless of the more respectable labels they might try to apply, hearing voices is a classic sign of mental disorder.

delusions (often bizarre or persecutory in nature)

Of grandeur. Of what is and isn’t possible. Of what really happened. Yep. Delusions. Of “I” and “me” being persecuted, and persecuting in such delicious, horrible ways… (this touches on psychopathic behavior, but that’s another day’s lesson.)

disorganized thinking and speech. The latter may range from loss of train of thought, to sentences only loosely connected in meaning, to incoherence known as word salad in severe cases.

If you’ve ever read a writer’s first draft, you know all about this.

Social withdrawal, sloppiness of dress and hygiene, and loss of motivation and judgment are all common in schizophrenia

We’re talking no shower and rationed pee breaks for days on end when facing a deadline or caught up in an epiphany. Friends, loved ones, spouses and children all cease to exist. There will be no clean dishes in the house.

There is often an observable pattern of emotional difficulty, for example lack of responsiveness.[7] Impairment in social cognition is associated with schizophrenia,[8] as are symptoms of paranoia; social isolation commonly occurs.

This is most commonly observed in the writer going through the querying stage of novel writing, or who is submitting short stories to magazines and contests. The unpredictable mood swings and agitated impatience are classic indicators of this phase.

To start healing you have to admit you have a problem. I’m standing up today to say “I’m Leah, and I’m a writer. And I know that I’m abso-fricking-lutely nuts.

Let the healing begin.