Yes, tildes are a thing. Unlike exclamation points, which everyone learns in grade school, you probably won’t recognize the term, though you might very well recognize the symbol itself.
Lest you think this is a blog about grammar, let me clarify my why of writing about grammar points.
Both of them have played a significant role in my life for the past 5 years and 9 months since Chuck’s death.
Godalmighty. How is it possible that it’s been so excruciatingly long since he died?
Exclamation points and tildes…
I stopped using exclamation points in anything I wrote, after Chuck died.
In paragraphs. In sentences. In idle comments.
If I was doing amazing things. If others were doing amazing things.
I never used exclamation points. Ever.
In this last year, I actually did use an exclamation point, maybe 4 times, I think.
And, yes, the lack thereof has been, is (because I still use them very sparingly) directly tied to this damn widowed life.
All levels of excitement, for myself or others, left me when Chuck died, and that lack of excitement carried over in my use of grammar.
You climbed Mt Everest? You’re pregnant? You’re getting married? You succeeded at something? You’re in love? Etc. Etc. Etc...as the King of Siam would say.
It isn’t that I didn’t appreciate any and all of this for you…whoever you are.
It was, and still is, mostly, that I don’t feel excitement about much of anything in life.
I appreciate exciting shit, but I don’t seem to get excited about it, in that I don’t feel excitement.
Maybe because it’s all temporary, whatever it is that excites people? Maybe because I’m numb?
I don’t know.
Which brings me to the tilde.
I, myself, just learned the word, even though I’ve been using the symbol forever. Forever being these 5 years and 9 months since Chuck’s death.
This is a tilde…don’t blink or you’ll miss it! (that makes 5 times I’ve used an exclamation point this year).
That wavy little line.
I use a tilde at the end of every thought. Not every sentence, of course.
But when I’m finishing a thought, after writing a blog, or a comment, a tilde is totally useful.
Why do I use a tilde, you might well ask, instead of a period, like normal folks do?
Quite simply, I use it instead of a period because my thoughts and ideas and beliefs are continually changing, depending on the circumstances, and the use of a period seems so very definite and final to me.
As if I’m saying well, here’s what I think and that’s that. Period.
Somewhere deep in my soul, a tilde resonates into my thoughts that life is so completely impermanent and changes on a dime at any given moment, and any plans I make can shift and change, and what I think I know in one moment may not be true in the next (because I learn something new), or a bomb might explode, or a shooting happen, or I might get in a car accident, or, I don’t know, yet another loved one in my life might be killed off by cancer, pushing my entire world into a tilt position, where every known thing slides off into oblivion.
Nothing is permanent. Everything is changeable, at any given moment. Thoughts, emotions, knowledge, life…might all be one thing at one moment, and vastly different 5 seconds from now.
Periods just have no place in my life.
Tildes, though…that wavy little line at the end of a sentence, signifying approximation, or a trailing off, with uncertainty behind it…yep. I relate to that.
I may or may not use more exclamation points this year. I’ve tried to generate a bit more enthusiasm towards people’s exciting experiences. Go me, right?
The tilde, though, my favorite grammar symbol, will always be a part of who I am.
I don’t necessarily view my use of the tilde negatively, however.
Maybe it’s so significant in my writings because it leaves the door open to…possibilities.
Which is what I’m all about, as I travel this Odyssey of Love, keeping my heart as open as I can possibly keep it. To new experiences, new friends, new places.
While a period, in my mind, conveys a closing of doors, and options.
A period closes a sentence, and a thought. Done. Finito.
And this life of mine, apparently, is not done. Even as my heart has shattered.
Somehow, I’m still here. And I’m living this life boldly, in as many shades of pink as I possibly can, every damn day.
Nothing is finished.
Say yes to tildes. Possibly yes to exclamation points.
No to closing a sentence with a period.
How’s that for deep, true blue, self-analysis?!!
Let’s not go overboard on those exclamation points~