Monday, March 26, 2007

Animal of the Week March 26, 2007 -- Beautiful punctuation

Regular readers of the animal of the week mailout, particularly last week's effort, may be surprised to discover that I was once, and to most intents and purposes (earning money while I study to become a taxonomist) still am, a copyeditor. In recognition of the fact that I do not always create the most grammatically pleasing of emails, this week's animal of the week is Polygonia c-album (comma).

A comma is a beautiful butterfly of Europe, Asia, and north Africa. Orange and brown on the upper side of the wing, with wings folded, a brown underside with a small white mark resembling a comma (hence the name) is revealed. The wings have a crinkled edge so that the adults resemble a fallen leaf. The caterpillars are brown with a white mark on their posterior so that they resemble bird droppings. Now that's camouflage.

Anyway, bad punctuation, misspelling, appalling puns, abject failure to inject humour or fact into a supposedly entertaining and informative mailout, I am guilty of all of these things. But at least I did not insert unnecessary hyphenation into the scientific name of a species named after a punctuation mark... never rely on a taxonomist for a joke.

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