By ANNE DONNELL
How do you punctuate interjections? I’m sure you’ll explain what they are so I won’t bother asking you that! Thanks, -Local Reader
Yah, Baby, I’ll explain what interjections are – should be earth shattering, life changing, drama on the edge. Huh? OK, maybe not. And maybe not right now.
ONLINE DEPARTMENT (Thanks, PW). “Family Tree of Vincent Van Gogh”•His dizzy aunt - Verti Gogh • The brother who ate prunes- Gotta Gogh • The brother who worked at a convenience store - Stop N Gogh • His nephew named for Serbian car - Yu Gogh* • His magician uncle - Where-diddy Gogh • His Mexican cousin - A Mee Gogh • The Mexican cousin's American half-brother - Gring Gogh • The nephew who drove a stage coach - Wells-far Gogh • The cousin who’s a long distance runner – Go Man Gough • The ballroom dancing aunt - Tang Gogh • The bird lover uncle - Flamin Gogh • The fruit loving cousin - Man Gogh • An aunt who taught positive thinking - Way-to-Gogh • The little bouncy nephew - Poe Gogh • A sister who loved disco - Go Gogh • His Animal House fraternity brother – Togo Toe Gogh • His great- great aunt – Fore Gogh • And his niece who travels the country in an RV - Winnie Bay Gogh. – His sister the travel agent -There Ya Gogh!
* (Remember the Yugo car jokes? • How do you make a Yugo go faster? A towtruck. • What do you call the shock absorbers inside a Yugo? • Passengers.• Two guys in a Yugo were arrested last night in Oakland following a push-by shooting incident.•The new Yugo has an air bag. When you sense an impending accident, start pumping really fast. • A friend went to a dealer the other day and said, "I'd like a gas cap for my Yugo." The dealer replied, "Okay. Sounds like a fair trade." • Explanation for car name? “Yugo, but it doesn't.”• How can you get a Yugo to do 60 miles an hour? Push it over a cliff.
(PS. Almost 800,000 Yugos were built over four decades. Production stopped in the fall of 2008.)
SO QUICKLY, what is an interjection? Tina Blue in “Free Grammar Correction” online writes, “An interjection is an exclamatory or parenthetical word, often appearing at the beginning of a sentence or clause, and having little or no grammatical connection to the rest of the sentence. Interjections are often used to express surprise, excitement, or dismay … ”
Considered a part of speech, it is a word (can be a phrase) commonly used to interrupt the thought of the sentence, and remember, every sentence has at least one complete thought.
We’re distractible beings, prone to wonder off (physically and mentally) during important and unimportant comments, and our language, always busy reflecting the happenings in those lumpy tissues we call brains, allows for BREAKS IN THOUGHTS. THESE ARE INTERJECTIONS. WARNING. THEY ARE SUBJECT TO PROFANE, COMMON, VULGAR TOUCHES. You bet.
EXAMPLES OF SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE INTERJECTIONS, PERHAPS NOT PREFERRED SOMEWHERE LIKE A CORNER BAR WHERE PROFANE, COMMON, AND VULGAR TOUCHES COULD OCCUR EVEN IF EVERYBODY KNOWS YOUR NAME, AS IN “CHEERS.” Wow, ouch, heavens to Betsy, help, OK, hey, oh, watch it, well, eeck, phew, phooey, fiddlesticks, aha, gadzooks, wahoo, YES (probably with a hand pumping though Tiger Woods has done both hands pumping), you know, holy smokes, holy cow, whoa, tut-tut, ugh, hot dog, oh dear, what on earth, boo, shut up, hush, there you go, yo, man, cool, amen, amen to that, hah, great, duh, hello, good, bad show, what the.
The kind of interjection unacceptable-at-most-grannies’ (some swinging grannies use them; some grannies are like thirty-five, too) is busy flooding the airways (and roaring out of huge speakers at the movies). These are often tied to religion or the bathroom. I bet you’ve heard them. Yo, man, you’re probably running them through your mind right now!
As to the punctuation needed, interjections commonly occur at the beginning of a sentence and should be set off from the sentence by a comma – UNLESS (there’s always an unless) strong emotion is being expressed. Then you follow the interjection with an exclamation point. Of course the first word is capitalized. EXAMPLES. Ouch! That really hurt. Well, you could get another opinion on this.
If the interjection is in the middle of the sentence it needs a comma before and a comma after. EXAMPLE. I suppose you could get, you know, verification for this.
Be sure any necessary internal punctuation and capitalization is used in the interjection; for example, you could need punctuation for a possessive noun. EXAMPLE BORDERING ON TASTELESSNESS AND PLAYING WITH FIRE. H---‘s bells!
BW (Bigtime Word) sobriquet – nickname. You can get those at the corner bar, also, and, also, probably can’t tell your granny. Well, maybe you could pull off Sponge Bob Square Pants.