Punctuation is not a luxury.

This pair of messages just appeared in my OKC inbox, and…I’m honestly not quite sure what this guy is trying to say in the second message.

But...what?

But…what?

I won’t even bother with the wisdom of telling someone she reminds you of someone with whom you’ve already had a failed relationship.

The second message is a good example of the value of punctuation. There’s not a single mark in that sentence (sentences?) to show the relationships between phrases, and I’m having a genuinely difficult time sussing out what he’s trying to say.

Option 1: “It’s not surprising you’re single, as you’ve been on this site a long time.”

This is a negging attempt, and a tautology. Not attractive. It manages to be both obnoxious and pathetic at the same time.

Option 2: “It’s not surprising you’ve been on this site a long time, as you are single.”

Another tautology; a meaningless observation. Not negging, but still pathetic.

Option 3: “You have been on this site a long time without establishing a successful relationship due to some other personal failure on your part which I have neglected to describe.”

Still negging, still obnoxious and yet transparently stupid.

If he thinks I’m going to respond just to ask him to specify what exactly that unpunctuated sentence means, he is sorely mistaken.

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