A punctuation quandary.

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Thread: A punctuation quandary.

  1. #1
    Member TJ1985's Avatar
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    A punctuation quandary.

    I've found myself in a tight spot with a project I have going at the moment and I hope this group can/will help me. I'm designing a graphic and the text is to be "Must have coffee". The general idea I want to put across is that the coffee is of critical importance, that death will result shortly if the coffee isn't provided, that the speaker can only muster one word at a time. I want it to read as halting, urgent, weak, desperate. (Hehe, I know it's a lot to ask of 3 words, 14 letters.)

    What I'm not sure is what punctuation would work best. In this would "Must... have... coffee." serve accurately and, if so, what's the proper punctuation protocol that would work best? Capitalize each first letter? Period after? Another set of ellipses after "coffee"?

    Normally I take pride in having confidence in my punctuation capacity but this is a different kind of bird and I want it to fly correctly.
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  2. #2
    Yes, I think that ellipses work here, and I'd put one after 'coffee' to suggest the voice faltering and fading.

    Incidentally, I'm pretty sure that you're meant to have a space before an ellipsis.
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  3. #3
    I agree with HC. Also, if it's allowed in the number of characters you can use, I'd have an exclamation mark after coffee! I'd capitalize 'coffee' too, just to make it stand out, but I don't think you need any periods.

  4. #4
    Another possibility is periods: Must. Have. Coffee.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    Another possibility is periods: Must. Have. Coffee.
    I immediately thought of this. I think this punctuation is mostly a fairly modern innovation, with a couple of meanings, one of which is, in my reading, precisely this.
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  6. #6
    Member DATo's Avatar
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    Interesting question. I would print the text in italics followed by an exclamation point.

    Must have coffee !
    Last edited by DATo; November 30th, 2015 at 02:53 AM. Reason: Posted example.

  7. #7
    If this is a graphic novel, would it be possible to use three frames?

    "Must..."

    "Have..."

    "Coffee!"

    If three frames are not warranted, then I would go with:

    "Must... have... coffee!"

    There are no spaces between the word and the ellipsis which follows it.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post

    "Must... have... coffee!"

    There are no spaces between the word and the ellipsis which follows it.
    Actually, there are, Terry.

    In most modern books, there are spaces before and after the ellipsis.
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  9. #9
    Member TJ1985's Avatar
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    Thanks team. The project is a visual design, hand drawn lettering and a creepy looking angry creature in the middle. I'm planning "Must... have..." the graphic beneath that with "Coffee!" underneath the graphic. I should have been more specific in my OP. Leave it to me to make a graphic work require punctuation schooling, lol.
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