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Punctuating the Silence

Photo: Covert Training Camp for Grammarphone Cult

(SNN) - The family of Eunice Mills of Stevens Point, Wisconsin confirmed her death this week, saying that she had been suffering from a long stillness. The news was met with dismay by historians everywhere as she was believed to have been the last surviving member of a religious sect known as the Grammarphones. Created by science fiction author, Elrond Cupboard, the cult had considered not only the words of the Bible to be holy but also the punctuation. 

Cupboard had once estimated that around 2.1% of the Good Book was punctuation and it was his view it should be properly recognised. Therefore, a fundamental teaching of the collective was to include noises that would serve to emphasise otherwise mute typographical symbols. In a pamphlet from 1948 entitled, 'Punctuating the Silence', Cupboard set out the guidelines for his vision. For example, he stated that a squeaky hinge might be equivalent to a question mark, while a comma could be emulated by milking a poodle.

The cult gained particular notoriety in the 1950s, when Cupboard proclaimed that all punctuation was equally sacred and that it should be acknowledged audibly, whether it was in a biblical context or not. This change in practice caused significant rumblings in communities across America and conversations became noisier and longer as cultists desperately hunted for sounds that met the required standard. It also resulted in a saturation of the poodle milk market, which led to followers being called "commanists" by the popular media. The matter was even referred to Senator Joseph McCarthy, who, due to a terrible misunderstanding, championed witch-hunts against the perfectly innocent communist party.

Facing both religious and lactose intolerance, a small band of followers, who fell into the extremist bracket, split from the cult and went on to detonate a series of F-bombs throughout Milwaukee. While trying to make good their escape after what proved to be their final attack, they were ambushed by the FBI and killed in a hail of bullet points. The sect experienced a very public backslash thereafter and membership numbers dwindled. Indeed, there were only a handful of worshippers at the time of Cupboard's death in 1986, ironically from a ruptured colon. 

Mrs Mills never wavered in her devoted service to the cause, however and poodles were always said to have given her a wide berth. And as recently as last year, she called a neighbour "a total #@*!" by boiling a kettle, ringing a doorbell, slamming a door, and unblocking a lavatory (although to be fair, the lavatory really did need unblocking). Since suffering an oblique stroke in February, Mrs Mills had to content herself with simply speaking any punctuation out loud. Although her passing signifies the end of the Grammarphones, experts are certain that its influence in our language is here to stay. Period.

Unaltered Photo: Some Right Reserved by Governor MacQuarie flickr photostream, The Sage nor this article endorsed. The original image can be found here.

DISCLAIMER: The above article is provided for entertainment purposes only and the article, image or photograph held out as news is a parody or satirical and therefore faux in nature and does not reflect the actions, statements or events of real persons. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the authors of The Sage Satire and forum participants on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the The Sage News Network or the official policies of the The Sage News.
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