Archive: October 5th, 2007

Punctually Punctual

Clock This blog is called “Punctuality Rules” for a couple of reasons. One, the name is a play on the word “punctuation.” Originally I had thought to just write about writing, grammar and spelling . . . to address that “its/it’s” and “there/their/they’re” issues once and for all, if only for my own satisfaction.

But then I thought about the true meaning of “punctuality.”

Punctual” is defined as “(1) Acting or arriving exactly at the time appointed; prompt. (2) Paid or accomplished at or by the appointed time. (3) Precise; exact. (4) Confined to or having the nature of a point in space.”

Punctuality is not just about making meetings on time, but about being exact. It’s about doing what needs to be done at exactly the time it should be done. To me, that’s an issue that transcends mere punctuation. That ripples right out into the real world. Doing what is right, and doing it precisely. When you have everybody doing exactly that, well, it seems to me that that’s more or less the foundation of basic civility . . . and civilization itself.

Not, of course, to hang too much weight around the neck of this little, fledgling blog, but I don’t think I can be the only one who considers these things to be important, or who finds “common courtesy” a little less common than it should be. There is a place for rules, and there is a time for throwing caution to the winds and ignoring the rules . . . but don’t you need to know them in the first place? As much as I enjoy experimenting when I cook, for example, I almost always cook a recipe as
directed the very first time. It’s not until the next time that I start playing. “It was a little bland last time, too watery, not enough nutmeg.”

To flaunt the rules, you need to know them in the first place; otherwise, it’s just acting out of sheer ignorance, and where’s the glamour in that?

Therefore, “Punctuality Rules” is also a play on the use of the word “rules“–serving double purpose as both a discussion of the basic rules, but also in the affirmative vernacular sense of “it rules!” used to celebrate the best. This is not because the rules of punctuation and good behavior are the most important thing around–even I would hesitate to claim that–but because, if we’re talking about basic civility here . . . don’t we all deserve the best civilization we can manage?