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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Interjection and Inhalation

  3-2-1: and another round of rambling commences. Before "we" get into  oh so important matters of grammatical terminology, I must share with you a brilliant insight that came to me in the lonely twilight hours: if women choose not to go out on dates with me, it is simply because they are either 1. budding lesbians or 2. about to embark on a career of cat hoarding. Now that I know it truly isn't me, I feel tremendous relief.

      An interesting question bubbled my grey matter the other day: what's the difference between an interjection and an exclamation? Both interjections and exclamations act as outbursts and can signify the sudden release of emotion. The differences seem to be that interjections should be single words ( some people consider them one of the parts of speech) and exclamations can be sentences or phrases. Additionally, interjections can act like distractions or diversions away from the topic at hand. So then, examples of interjections may be: "damn,"  "ouch," "whoa" or even "hey" in some circumstances. A teacher I've worked with describes interjections as the "words you say when you stub your toe." If I then understand it correctly, exclamations could be, "What the hell?"; "Oh my God!" ; or even "Give me a break!" If I need to be corrected on these intricacies or my semi-colon use, then kindly embarrass me in the comments section. If you want a more authoritative presentation on this issue, then check out this link:

  I don't intend to make this blog about whatever trashy novel or relevant non-fiction I may or may not be reading at any given time, but in my reading I came across something amusing and word/ phrase related.  Right now, I'm reading a book entitled "Taking Charge of My Life: Personal Essays by Today's College Students." The book is simply a collection of essays written by college students (primarily middle aged) who are in developmental reading or writing classes. If you find stories of broken or languishing people putting themselves back together again by pursuing an education inspirational, then you might really enjoy this book because that's truthfully all it is. One writer, recalling her past substance abuse problems, talked about coping with her physical pain through marijuana use. She wrote something to the effect that she began to smoke "joints" or "marijuana-cigarettes." Yes, she felt the need to define the term "joint" for her academic readers, who she must have assumed all wear cardigans, spend Saturday night watching Laurence Welk in the rumpus room, and live next to the Beavers. Her usage made me think of high-school debates and freshman essays about legalizing weed where students similarly felt the need to explain to their Martian teachers what the word "joint" meant.


  1. Also, I learned something new: I had always thought of interjections as interruptions, to the contrary.

  2. Well, they are interruptions of sorts. They are additional elements, often unessential or "forced" into the sentence, but yes, they are more than just that.