Hollywood to Blame for Punctuation Crisis
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(Hollywood, CA) Today the nation’s letter, numeral, and punctuation growers banded together to address the dwindling supply of colons and letters and overabundance of numerals, both Roman and Arabic. The menace: the dramatic uptick in movie titles overusing colons and lengthening film names.

“I blame George Lucas,” said spokesman Ed Marks. “He started it all with Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace. At the time, no one thought his fancy pants use of colons was a big deal. The title doesn’t roll off your tongue or fit on a marquee, but once he did it and insisted that the first film was called Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope, everyone else had to follow suit. As if those colons were why those movies made a bajillion dollars.”

The boost in colon cultivation was a welcome development for the industry, which had sustained itself primarily by selling the precious natural resource to the academic sector. “Colons used to be for graduate students writing thesis papers or undergrads who wanted something special to show off,” said Marks.

The boon turned out to be too much of a good thing and nearly ruined the colon crop. The year 2003 saw what came to be known as The Great Colon Shortage. “Every Hollywood studio was putting a colon or two in their title, which fattened the wallets of a lot in the colon industry, but no one noticed that demand was outstripping supply before it was almost too late,” said punctuation conservationist Dot Leonard. The shortage came to a head when the sequel to Lara Croft: Tomb Raider had to drop the colon between the name and descriptor. Thus, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life arrived in the world’s theaters short one punctuation mark.

Synthetic cloning has provided a temporary solution to the still-tenuous colon reserve, although the cloned colons are weaker than their organic forebears. Exclaimed Leonard, “Take a look at Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. The colon is needed, but the filmmakers ought to realize that colons don’t grow on trees. Using one here to make a longer title is wasteful, not only for colons but all those extra letters that could have been used for three more perfectly good titles.”

Indeed, the increase in colon usage has also seen the available stock of letters diminish at an alarming rate. “We never thought we’d see the day when there might not be enough letters to meet demand, but it’s fast approaching,” said Kay Williams of The Alphabet Institute. “When colons became trendy, the titles got longer than they needed to be. What’s the point in calling it Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl? Everything after the colon is extraneous, and a numeral could do the job for the sequels.”

The numeral industry decries the decline of its product in titles. “Used to be you could count on healthy annual sales for the likes of Lethal Weapon 3 or Superman II, but the younger generation doesn’t think we’re descriptive enough,” said numeral farmer Juan Esposito. “Now we understand how letters, numerals, and punctuation are part of a carefully balanced system, and we need to do something about it.”

Frequently one to come to the rescue, the music industry has done what it can in recent years. Rumors persist that long-time numeral advocate Prince, whose use of 2 and 4 has been heralded as revolutionary in view of the current climate, has pledged to change his name to ‽. “The interrobang farmers have their fingers crossed,” said Marks. The Icelandic band Sigur Rós released an album entitled ( ), and the group !!! eschewed using any letters for its name.

“It’s a start,” said Williams. “Instant and text message users are helping too, what with their lols and fwiws, but be careful with the smiley faces. We need to be judicious with how we use our colons.”

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