When it comes to inspiring controversies this week, Donald Trump Jr. is the gift that keeps on giving. First there were the emails stating that junior would “love” to meet with a Russian government lawyer about incriminating Hillary Clinton info. Then there was the hidden nugget that, wow, those emails contain truly the worst email signature ever.
Now there is a new Donald Trump Jr. scandal that’s got the internet shooketh: How exactly the hell are we supposed to punctuate this man’s name?!
It all started when The New Yorker published an article, “Donald Trump, Jr.,’s Love for Russian Dirt.” Seems like a pretty typical headline.
Except, wait just one damn second. What’s this?!
That’s four punctuation marks in between four characters, which is, aesthetically speaking, excessive AF.
It’s the grammar equivalent of this GIF:
What was that punctuation conversation like:
Period: “Brb, I gotta go help out the younger Donald Trump”
Apostrophe: “Oh fun, can I come too?”
The Comma Twins: “Ain’t no way in hell y’all are leaving us out of this punctuation intervention.”
Period: “FINE, WE’LL JUST DO THIS THING TOGETHER THEN!”
Or, in the words of Michael Colton, ex-Washington Post journalist and writer for the upcoming film A Futile and Stupid Gesture, this is bullsh*t.
And the internet agreed:
The comma is a disaster.
— Hugo Rifkind (@hugorifkind) July 11, 2017
Oh, hell to the no. This isn’t okay.
— Steffen Christensen (@Wikisteff) July 12, 2017
The first and second commas are redundant and silly, but the comma apostrophe combo is just infuriating.
— Patrick McGee (@PatrickMcGee_) July 12, 2017
What on earth is the comma doing there?
— Mark Jupp (@markjupp4) July 11, 2017
totally discredited. Fake punctuation
— Casmilus (@Casmilus) July 11, 2017
The New Yorker, though, is sticking to its guns. The head of The New Yorker’s copy department, Andrew Boynton, posted a story on Wednesday, “The Correct Punctuation of Donald Trump, Jr.,’s Name,” that outlines exactly why the publication unleashed their punctuation army.
“The reasoning for the punctuation of “Jr.,’s” is pretty straightforward. It’s a collision of conventions.”
Let’s just take another look at it, real quick:
Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, the article was a direct clap back at Michael Colton’s initial tweet, as evidence by the fact The New Yorker literally embedded Colton’s tweet at the top of the article. (Writer’s note: Yassss, New Yorker. A+ trolling!)
And, taking everything in stride, The New Yorker also noted that the decision is likely to be as controversial as the publication’s use of dieresis (you know, those two dots that appear above the second vowel in words like “naïve”) and for its use of double consonants.
“This styling doesn’t come up very often in the magazine, and its occurrence in a headline of sorts has brought it a weird kind of notoriety. Now it can comfortably stand alongside the diaeresis and ‘focussing,'” writes Boynton
At the end of the day, punctuation debate aside, the meaning is the same: The President of the United States’ son said he would love a meeting with a Russian government lawyer to talk HRC dirt.
And while everyone is sorting out what that means, make sure you take a second and smell the commas. After all: hell hath no fury like a grammar nerd scorned.