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Argumentative ampersands and feisty full stops

Posted on August 01, 2013 by Justine | 0 comments

As you now know- I have a bit of a thing for the ampersand, and other symbols. I love how a few simple lines can speak volumes and be understood globally- look at the development of the hashtag and what that now encompasses (don’t get me started though- I may be here for a while on that one).

People often ask how I come up with ideas for the next range of Hector & Haddock pieces, and the truth is rather more prosaic than people may hope for- I simply write ideas down in notebooks, and I have many of them- Penguin themed notebooks, Moleskins- all beautiful collections of perfect paper sheets, waiting to be filled up with scribbles and scrawls.

And that’s how Punck Puns came about: I am pedantic about punctuation. I can spot apostrophe atrocities a continent away (thanks to the beauty of social networking, my brother across the seas can bear witness to this). In the dark hours one very early morning, scribbling in my purple Penguin notebook, I imagined the ampersand and the umlaut as an arguing couple. You know, they’ve been together a while, know each other inside out and enjoy exchanging caustic wit & acerbic insults.

 The umlaut, as is the tradition, thinks he’s the epitome of cool. People have trusted him for decades to transform the most pedestrian of everyday items into hugely desired brands: he hovers, imparting hipness wherever he’s placed: ice cream, Eighties bands, and decadent desserts have all enjoyed transformations thanks to him. And ampersand- she knows all this is just the Emperor’s New Clothes really- umlaut is in fact a bundle of nerves, jangling insecurities and shortfalls, terrified that someone will unveil the fact that he’s actually just a bespectacled geek.

And so the slightly humorous exchange was born: of course, the range then extended to the acute accent and the semicolon, the apostrophe and the comma, the ellipsis and the fullstop, and the exclamation mark and the ubiquitous hashtag. And funnily enough, they’re becoming a bit popular themselves. I’m thrilled for the forgotten apostrophe- she’s been desperate for a bit of attention over the last few years or so- but I’m slightly worried about the ego of the umlaut. Terrified of what I’ve spawned there.


Ellipsis and Full stop

Apostrophe and Comma

Ampersand and Umlaut

Acute accent and Semicolon

Hashtag and Exclamation Mark


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