comma splice/ noodling/ "-making"

Indigo Som indigo at WELL.COM
Thu Jan 25 18:25:02 UTC 2001

>Does it seem to anyone else that the type of "comma splice" exemplified in
>"We can probably wait on the software for now, I don't think it will
>be a problem."
>(where the comma takes the place of "because" or "since") is becoming
>more and more common in written correspondence?

>I must admit that I do this myself. I write a column that is deliberately
>-- some would say cloyingly (in fact some HAVE said cloyingly) --
 <snip> It is sort of the grammatical equivalent
>of a "rolling stop" at a stop sign.

Yes, conversational! I say blame it on email! I'm 34. Started emailing in
1992. Outside of email I am sort of a grammar purist -- I mean, I don't
even split infinitives even though it's been legalized for a while now. (Of
course now everybody is finding all the grammatical errors in this post...
gosh how self-conscious-making!) My emails are *filled* w/ comma splices &
run-on sentences, not to mention an overabundance of parenthetical remarks
(as you can see). It's the conversational/casual thing. I have always said
that I have no linguistic spine, meaning that I start talking like anybody
I hang around long enough, especially if they have particularly strong
personality, speech patterns, mannerisms, &c. I have noticed this
spinelessness extends to email. I've noticed that people younger than me
&/or "cooler" than me are extremely casual in email (using "u" for "you",
no caps, &c.). When replying to that kind of thing my grammar just flies
out the window -- although I absolutely refuse to use "u" -- I mean a
girl's gotta hold on to *some* sense of self!

Now that I've bared all my linguistic/grammatical insecurities, I might as
well go on ahead & admit my Deadhead-ness. Probably 90% of references to
"noodling" I've heard in my life were in the form of people complaining
about Jerry Garcia's guitarplaying. Occasionally noodling was extrapolated
to describe the way Deadheads dance. All of it meant to be mildly
insulting, w/ connotations like: aimless, undisciplined, formless,
self-indulgent, stoned, spacy (or is that spacey?), &c...

Having said "self-conscious-making" above, I'm wondering where/when/how did
"-making" show up? I first heard it as "crazy-making" 10 to 15 years ago, &
at the time it struck me as sort of feminist therapy talk. Since then I've
heard lots of "crazy-making" but also some variations, the formula usually
being [any emotion or feeling] + -making. Happy-making, mad-making,
stupid-making, &c. Do you folks know anything about it?

Indigo Som

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