I thought I would do a little throwback and do one of our favorite Twitter posts from years ago and go a little more into the reasoning behind it. It’s so fun to think of the signs as different things. Nothing delighted me more than when we thought of them as punctuation marks. Although punctuation marks are sometimes hard to notice as you are comprehending the actual words of a sentence or phrase, they also make or break the meaning of the whole thing. Kind of like all of the signs!
So, here’s to punctuation marks, the original emojis!;––?:(,.’)/”
Sending you all love tonight—
Aries are exclamation marks of the zodiac for sure. Always there to make a point, Aries speak with conviction and passion. Aries are enthusiastic about what they love (and what they don’t love) and they express their feelings readily and frankly. Sometimes all they have to back up their ideas are emotions, but emotions are important! Exclamation marks are Aries’ soulmates. In a sentence, they say “This is just how it is!” They are also a little bossy, and let’s face it, so are Aries. And just like an exclamation mark, Aries can never have enough of a good thing. Three or four or five—go ahead and pile those exclamation marks on in a sentence to make sure everyone knows just how excited you are. An Aries won’t mind. In fact, seeing all that bright energy comforts them.
Semi-colons are used to fuse two things together in a sentence that could be separated but shouldn’t be. Just like a Taurus will always hold you in a big bear hug right before you are about to walk out the door, a semi-colon always seems to be saying, “no don’t go.” And even when you try to explain—” but I am just going to the corner store to pick up some milk”—no self-respecting Taurus or semi-colon will let you get away that easily. “Stay a little while longer,” both a Taurus and a semi-colon seem to say, “let me hold you while we take a little snooze together.” Semi-colons have everyday glamour just like a Taurus. A little bit period, a little bit comma—semi-colons and Tauruses get the job done.
Just like a Gemini, an em dash is complicated. The longest of the dashes (check out more about hyphens and en dashes if you want to know more about the dash siblings—and no, I don’t mean the Kardashians), the em dash can exist in a sentence for a variety of reasons. But maybe the most important reason is to bring on a new thought. An em dash is that moment when you’re writing and you just can’t stop yourself from sort of changing the subject but not enough to completely end the sentence and move on. Em dashes keep the sentence flowing, when another punctuation mark might slow the reader down. Em dashes are like a bowl of strands of ideas that you throw out there, that maybe you come back to later and maybe you don’t. An em dash says, "I can’t wait to tell you this (and this and this and this).” That’s basically the mantra of every Gemini.
Cancers are such sweet people. They are truly interested in others and they always want to know how to make things better (and especially how they can make things better). I don’t know about you, but all the Cancers I know are always asking questions: “What did you eat for lunch and did you like it? What are you doing later? And are you still thinking about what she said to you last week?” In this way, Cancers leave things open to your input. In a sentence, question marks leave things open, too. When you’re writing and you have an idea that you just aren’t sure of the answer, a question mark is the perfect addition. It says to the reader “I care about you—let’s think about this together.” Just like a Cancer, a question mark looks you in the eye and says “how do you feel?”
Leos are driven, ambitious, and creative. They are always ready to start something new and to do it in a way that is organized and focused. Colons are, too, as they are the part of the sentence that alerts you to a list or a further explanation of some idea. They are elegant, always ready to dress up a title or even to show units of time succinctly (think of 10:45 am and how important that colon is). There is also something perfect abut colons—two little dots suspended in space levitating from the other with some sort of magical gravity. Leos are perfect, too—carrying charm in everything they do inexplicably. Colons make a sentence just like the way a Leo makes an entrance at any gathering. Both say “I’m here.” They know you were waiting just for them and couldn’t even exist without them.
Just like a Virgo, an open parenthesis is the lively and practical component of a sentence. Parentheses themselves are used in writing to include information that doesn’t make or break the meaning of something, but that the writer still deems as important. An open parenthesis starts this process going, opening up a phrase to the possibilities inherent in a new idea or list of things. Just like a Virgo who is helping you find the perfect outfit for a second date, an open parenthesis seems to say, “but have you considered this one?” They bring things into the realm of possibility and creativity and suggest details that you might not have considered otherwise. Just like a Virgo, they care about the small things, no matter how seemingly unrelated they are. Virgos and open parentheses care about everyone.
Commas, like Libras, are multi-purpose. Generally speaking, they separate clauses when it’s necessary. But of course they can do that for a variety of reasons—to separate an introductory clause, to separate the items of a list, to set up a quotation—to name a few. If you are feeling experimental, you can basically use a comma to do anything in a sentence. They don’t mind. They are just like Libras, who are so multi-dimensional. Libras know about a multitude of topics and are sparkling conversationalists about almost anything. Libras are effective in their rhetoric, largely because they are so rational. Just like a comma, Libras can be unassuming at first, but mighty. They come in when they need to to let everyone know that they are in fact in charge. Commas and Libras are kind, but I wouldn’t mess with either of them.
Sometimes severe, Scorpios and periods are magnetic. Both are a bit mysterious, loyal, and sometimes easy to take for granted. After all, when you are reading a sentence, periods are just miraculously there, ready to give you the support you need to move on to the next sentence or perhaps even end the whole paragraph. Like a Scorpio, they punctuate with a deep beat, bellowing from the depths of the ocean, where so many animals live that we can’t see. Just like Scorpios, periods can be as predictable as they are surprising. They can cut things off early if necessary or they can make something last forever. Scorpios and periods hold immense power—power you can almost miss sometimes if you aren’t paying close enough attention.
The apostrophe is the classic Sagittarius punctuation mark. Like a Sagittarius, an apostrophe is subtle and beautiful. It aims to help a sentence on its own terms. One of its usages is for contractions, like aren’t or doesn’t, where it can stand in for the absence of letters. Within its mark are the things that could be included, but you don’t need them to be. Like any Sagittarius, apostrophes have too many important places to be to worry about those pesky excess vowels. They like things streamlined and minimal and easy. Also, apostrophes can be used to indicate possession, like when you want to tell someone it’s Bob’s sled, and not yours. This might seem a bit ironic, as free-spirited Sagittarians hate ownership. However, all Sagittarians like to know where things stand. They want to know the truth. Like a Sagittarius, an apostrophe is a truth-teller.
As mentioned in Virgo above, parentheses themselves are used to add on something that isn’t integral to a sentence but that seems important to the writer. A close parenthesis finishes up the job that Virgo started by their open version. A close parenthesis says “this is a good addition and now let’s move on.” It knows exactly when that time is and when just enough is all you need. That’s exactly like a Capricorn, who has an uncanny intuition as to when things have reached their peak. Like a Capricorn, the close parenthesis calls the shots. It doesn’t let any excess information happen like an em dash or comma might. It’s fully in control and knows it. (Also, just like a close parenthesis needs an open parenthesis, any Capricorn needs a Virgo in their life to be complete.)
Just like an Aquarius, a slash is a fun addition to any sentence. Used often to bring two ideas, sometimes opposing, together, a slash also can stand in for the word or (and sometimes the word and). It streamlines the whole process and makes a phrase look both strange and contemporary. Just like an Aquarius is the genius of the zodiac, a slash is the genius of punctuation marks. A slash is innovative and a little obsessive. It finds it hard to choose one word or idea and thinks, “hey, why not both?” That exactly the mood of an Aquarius, who loves to live within the realm of possibility and duality. Both a slash and an Aquarius won’t let you down and most of the time they will lift you up. Let’s face it: both an Aquarius and a slash are always a good time.
Pisces “ ”
Pisces are definitely the quotation marks of the zodiac. All Pisces are very detail-oriented. They like to give some evidence and back up their feelings with real objective truth. They are also collectors, especially of knowledge. For almost their entire lives, they’ve been saving up quotations and other facts of personal, public, and private history. Quotation marks make these key Pisces citations easy. Quotation marks also can indicate dialogue and can mark off who says what and when in a story or other written passage. They let you know what is being spoken and really, what Pisces doesn’t love a good conversation? If they could talk all night to you about all of your sorrows and joys they would. Pisces are great friends and so are quotation marks. Also, is it me, or do quotation marks not look like two fish swimming in different directions? So Pisces.