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Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
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Monday, March 01, 2010

Pierced by Punctuation on Muse Day

"They say every time u use an ! a fairy dies...." Yolanda Elizabet

Usually Thalia, the muse of Comedy, is the inspiration for Muse Day, but this time any younger or more sensitive viewers can blame Yolanda Elizabet and Kate Smudges, whose twitter conversations about the danger of exclamation points made me look for the sketching pencils.
This post is part of Garden Bloggers Muse Day, hosted by Carolyn at the Sweet Home and Garden Chicago blog.


  1. This is funny. I love your sketch too. I will have to pop around to see why everyone is in an uproar about exclamation points. I don't think they harm fairies because fairies are more powerful witht their wands than an exclamation point could be.

  2. Annie, This is too perfect~Now you'll have me watching my interjections and keeping my exclamation points to no more then three or possibly a dozen per post~ gail

  3. I think many of us are equally guilty of leaving too many smiley face symbols;-)

  4. I loved your drawing Annie. Little did I know that our talk of fairies would lead you to pick up your coloured pencils! Those poor fairies ~ they haunt me in my sleep. I've killed off so many that I can hardly live with the guilt (doesn't that takes you back to the twitter conversation YE, you and I had about growing up Catholic?)

    This was a good way to start Monday morning!!!

  5. I love it!!! Funny, Greg and I just talking about punctuation in emails, etc. last night.

  6. Annie, you've started a twitter-fest of conversation, which is all fun. I'm guilty of killing off many fairies, though I'm not sure I agree with that philosophy. How on earth can I express my emphasis without a few !s thrown in there? Of course, I often SPEAK with !s, not just write!

  7. Oh dear, I'm afraid I've slaughtered thousands. I am bereft. Happy Muse Day.~~Dee

  8. What other talents are you hiding from us? (Singer, songwriter, artist, gardener, ...) Love the cartoon! (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)

  9. Oh, dear--how many fairies have I sent to their deaths? (Now normally, I would have put an exclamation point there as well, but I'll refrain.) I'll have to check out this uproar--I'm certainly guilty of this in comments. I'm also prone to :) ever since my granddaughter explained to me what it meant:)

  10. Annie in Austin, you are a woman of many talents (I would put an exclamation point here but I don't want to kill off a fairy. So, wherever I want to put an exclamation point I'll just add an "(ep)".

    Not only can you compost songs and sing, and garden and cook and write, but you can also draw (ep).

    Love it (ep) (ep) (ep)

  11. I feel badly for the poor fairies but it is so hard to convey emotion when commenting. I will try to control myself in future but make no promises. In any case I really love your sketch****

  12. Oh, the carnage I have caused!
    It seems the only way I can talk with my hands online is with the mighty exclamation point(s). My college English prof is rolling in her grave everytime I EP!

  13. Lisa at Greenbow glad you laughed...wondering how in the world an exclamation point could be lethal gave me the idea for the drawing

    This box is the place I need them most, Gail ~ it's too exciting when people comment!

    I'm not crazy about the flashing emoticons added to email Jan/Thanks for Today, but even when overused, the combinations of punctuation marks are at least home made ;-]

    Oh, that Catholic guilt goes on and on, doesn't it, Kate Smudges? If we were writing on paper we might feel guilty about using so much ink on Twitter~ glad you got a laugh.

    Thanks Linda at CTG - guess I'm just an old crank, but still want punctuation, capital letters and spell check, even in emails.

    It does seem to me that this fairy tale may be a ploy by unknown people to damp us down, Robin Get Grounded ~ it's like talking with my hands tied!

    I figured out exclamation points on my own, Blackswamp Kim, but am indebted to you for the winking wry humor of ;-] this one.

    We are both guilty, Dee of Red Dirt Ramblings! How do you think May Dreams Carol manages to have Fairies in her garden, anyway? She's been know to throw a few X~P's around.

    Those are the talents a Jane Austin heroine should have, Vertie ~ plus cooking and sewing. Unfortunately the knack of making money is not in my tool kit!

    When I started answering these comments my intention was to get to the end without X~P's, Prairie Rose, but it did not work! Kate Smudges and I also have a fondness for tildes ~~~

    Thank you very much, May Dreams Carol - and that very restraint must be the reason your wee folk have survived. Should we try out all the keys on the keyboard and see if any of them work on vegetable nibbling rabbits?

    Does it seem to you that X~P's add warmth, Leslie? And we sure do need something like the ;-] to let the reader know there's some tongue-in-cheek going on... thanks for liking the drawerring (feel like Simon/Mike Myers in the bath tub)

    This is one arena where the females are deadlier than the males, Morning Glories in Round Rock! If my English professors put the mighty X~P's down.... I was not listening!

    Thanks for letting me be goofy!


  14. I plan to be more careful about where I use those points in future. I can use some can't I, or are they totally banned? It gave me cause to check on where it is acceptable to use them. The things we can learn as gardeners. Sweet little sketch. See, no points! Oops! Sorry fairies.

  15. What a charming post...now I am afriad to use punctuation.

  16. Oh, the poor fairies. I've killed my share, it seems. Funny sketch, Annie. ;-)

  17. Great sketch. Although I try not to use too many exclamation points I just can't help myself. Sometimes you just need one! Or two!!

  18. Wow...I'm really fond of exclamation points, too...are these ~~~ safe? :) BTW, I'm having a seed giveaway at my blog if you like free seeds :)

  19. I'm guilty of using exclamations way too often. I'll try to refrain from doing it on this comment.

  20. LOL - no exclamation point. Wasn't it Mark Twain who said that good writing requires no exclamation points?

  21. Wait, you draw, too? Nuts! I wish I could draw! (You can see a feeble attempt here.) Anyway, I'm the queen of exclamation points!!!! And the Garden Faerie, so I can assure you faeries can fly over the points! :) (Even lardy ones.)

    BTW< I checked with my filky friend and he says he doesn't know of any major filk conventions in TX. There may be house filks, though.

  22. It's impossible not to use them in comments, Lancashire Jenny - we're having conversations here! How else can our intentions be made clear?

    There have been suggestions that we need more punctuation, not less Tabor...it's hard enough to be on Twitter without italics.

    Thanks, Pam/Digging - and if you laughed it was Thalia + Yolanda?

    But how many are too many, Jean? Maybe if we just use one at a time the fairies can dodge them? It's the double-barreled X-P's that are the problem!!

    Kate Smudges calls those ~~~ swung dashes, Lisa, and I call them tildes. We recently learned to do this ~~~~~~~> with them.
    Will check out the seed giveaway...thanks!

    You are a strong man, Phillip - but no one can see photos of your garden without using at least a few exclamation points in the comment ;-]

    Did Mark Twain really say that, Mr McGregor's Daughter? Not too sure it would work for garden blogs - how can we be deadpan when Spring is coming?

    Your drawing has flowers in it, Garden Faerie - sure you can draw - that looks like a lily on the right. Maybe spelling it Faerie gives you special powers!
    And after seeing you sing Scorn of Buckthorn, wish for a duet someday ;-]

    Thanks everyone,


  23. Guilty as charged but then fairies are not real are they? I say let'em die.

  24. ROFLMAO over your poignant rendition of the plight of the fairies ... now what do I put at the end of that instead of an EP?

    The verification word is ailing ... the fairies aren't dead, they're only resting.

  25. Oh well. This is not going to stop my bad habit!

  26. Wow!! Oops!!You don't mean to say !! How many have I slayed today ?

    Seriously, Annie, your talent knows no bounds. I had no idea that you were an artist as well.

    Thanks for this great addition to Garden Bloggers' Muse Day. Gotta stop the slaughter- no more !

  27. Well done, Annie.

    I wonder what one kills when they use all caps? ;-)

  28. Hilarious!!!!!!!!!

    (Couldn't resist. Someone here had to forego restraint).

  29. Love it. Oddly, I actually let myself go blogging and twittering, because my day job as an editor forces me to be a punctuation tzar and deal harshly with those who violate.

  30. Fairies aren't real Layanee, but I wanted to try to draw wings and overlapping dead bodies!

    If it makes you feel better Cindy from Katy think of the fairies as merely actors!

    What we need is a mark for irony, Jenn - exclamations don't quite do it and even the winking smiley face is not good enough ;-]

    I'm so glad you liked it the sketch, Carolyn Gail - not art like your paintings, but it beats stick people!

    Hi Dawn and thanks - oh, my....all caps is like having someone scream, isn't it?

    I'm glad you got a smile out of the post, Pam - will be over to your blog soon.

    The blog comment box has to be no-editing zone, doesn't it EAL? Since we can't wave our hands around we need dashes, italics, bold type, elipses, exclamation points, smiley faces and winks just to lubricate the social interchanges!

    Thanks for the comments. Austin has one more possible freeze tonight - once the burlap and sheets come off there might be a few flowers for a late bloom day post,



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