On grammarology: With Apologies to the great/late Derrida

I sifted through some old posts. To find one dated April 22, 2007, on why I broke up with Vodka and my emerging relationship with Rum. Of course, Rum and I have come a long way now. The post ends with a line or two about my grammar habits.

I seem to have promised an expanded post on Grammar at the time. Well, as it happens, today, I feel like talking about my love for the full-stop.

The Full Stop (I also love Capital Letter) is, by no means, an expression of finality. I think. I add a full stop in a short, sharp stroke- like a bit of jeera powder in a curry. Not really as part of a strategy. But at that moment, it sort of fits. The Full Stop, to me, serves the very purpose of fitting into a momentary chasm in thought. Grammarians will say use a semi colon (I like to leave the semi-colon aside. For a rare moment. Like two twigs of lemon grass), it’s meant for exactly that. And I will say to Grammar-purohits that (aside: they could consider a hike) I mean for chasm in thought to be short and sharp. A staccato note. Not a lilting continuum where the break adds to the build-up in melody.

So my friend Full Stop comes in handy when I want deliberately not to think for that moment. Break into the rhythm of the preceding thought with an uncertainty as to whether it will continue on the same line when it resumes, and a finality. Implying that the present thought has been disrupted irreparably.

Wren and Martin had taught us in a junior class in Missionary School that a complete thought ends with a sentence. I say there is no complete thought. Some hang in mid-air. Some shock you like a sudden blown fuse and a sharp spark. Some others burn away like the remnants of a cigarette. Some illuminate and blow out like an anaar on Diwali. Some gnaw away in recurrent outbursts. For years. Against the walls of your intestine.


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