I’ve gotten a life, and I’ve let blogging fall to the wayside. So decidedly un-juiciosa of me. ¡Qué pena! I always have posts brewing that I tinker with here and there, but I’ve lacked inspiration lately to actually publish anything, finding everything too blah. I’m hoping that the changing of the clocks on Sunday and the daily extra hour of daylight will do the trick. I’m so ready for springtime–sun, green, flowers, picnics, dancing, road trips, and every waking moment spent outside. It’s been a very melancholy winter for me, and it’s time to rebloom.
My computer probably looks a little different from yours. If you squint and look closely at the keyboard, you’ll notice some symbols that you probably don’t have on yours. My keyboard boasts: ¿ ¡ ° ñ ´ ¨ ` ^ ~
Plus a few others that I don’t even know how to type. I’m not trying to brag, I promise. What’s my secret? I had the good sense to buy my laptop in Colombia, and that has made typing in Spanish infinitely easier. Typing accents on letters is effortless, I know where ñ is at all times (under my right pinky), and should I decide to get fancy and begin my questions and exclamations with their proper punctuative introductions (I rarely make the effort), I’ve got easy access to the correct upside-down squiggles. I love this keyboard. We’ve written some memorable things in our day, he and I. He makes it all so easy for me.
I can use Spanish punctuation marks, diacritical marks and typographical marks like nobody’s business (I remember that one of my ex’s first piropos to me was him marveling that I always put the accents on the right words), but I never really learned what they were called. I use them for my purposes and get on with it, but I had never stopped to ask them their names and how they were doing. Then I happened to ask Mónica yesterday how you say exclamation mark in Spanish, thinking it would be something like signo de exclamación. No. (Well, you can say that, but it’s not as common) Signo de admiración. ¡¡¡ !!! Get out! I said to her, doing my best Elaine Benes imitation. Admiration mark?!?! I seriously almost fell out of my chair. Admiration mark! Yes. Admiration mark. In Spanish, admiración means not only admiration but also amazement. This was news to me. Also, I found it adorable. I consequently decided to brush up on my other punctuation terms in Spanish and share the bounty. I had already picked up most of these sobre la marcha, but there were still some gaps.
Signos de puntuación, signos diacríticos y signos tipográficos en español
Spanish punctuation marks, diacritical marks and typographical marks
. Punto Period
… Puntos suspensivos Ellipsis, dot dot dot
, Coma (f) Comma
; Punto y coma Semicolon
: Dos puntos Colon
- Guion/guión, raya Hyphen, dash
_ Guion/guión bajo Underscore
/ Barra oblicua/inclinada, diagonal, “slash” Slash
” ” Comillas Quotation marks (little commas!)
¡ ! Signos de admiración, signos de exclamación Exclamation marks
¿ ? Signos de interrogación Question marks
( ) Paréntesis (m) Parentheses
[ ] Corchetes (m) Brackets
´ Tilde (f) Accent mark
¨ Diéresis Dieresis, umlaut, two dots
’ Apóstrofe/apóstrofo Apostrophe
* Asterisco, estrellita Asterisk, star
# Numeral, signo de número, almohadilla, cuadradillo, gato Number sign, pound, hash
@ Arroba At
Any other good ones that I missed? I would say that the most useful ones for me in my Spanish-speaking experience have been arroba and punto. Any guess as to why? That’s right–for giving out my email address. Also, the phrase entre comillas is handy for the English phrase “quote unquote”/ “so-called.” And, yes, people do the same wiggly thing with their second and third fingers to indicate this, as least in my experience. Happy punctuating!
_________________________________________________ Non-natives, what’s your experience with these words? Had you heard them before? How have you heard them used? Where? If you’re a native Spanish speaker, anything to correct, clarify, comment on or concur with?