The Most Annoying Uses Of Punctuation In Pop Culture

When Straight Outta Compton hits theaters this week, we expect it to tell us all about how N.W.A revolutionized rap on the West Coast. It will chronicle the rise of Gangsta Rap, the attention it garnered from the FBI, the dissolution of Eazy-E's career, and maybe even the way Ice Cube went on to become a cuddly movie star while Dr. Dre set out to make headphones. But will it once and for all explain the question on the minds of music writers and editors for decades: Why isn't there a period after the A?

If that missing period has never bothered you before, it will probably either really bug you from now on, or it will make you think that whoever it bothers is a super-nerd who needs to chill already with the unwanted editing. In which case, just stop reading this.

Of course, we believe in artistic freedom. Of course, we think grammar rules are okay to be broken once in a while (witness the sentence fragment in the last paragraph). Although sometimes, random punctuation in artist names, titles, and comic book heroes crosses the line from "creative" to nonsensical. Not to mention it can be really difficult to type. Ever tried to use fun. in a sentence? Have you texted a friend about seeing The Man From U.N.C.L.E.? Now that people text and share on social media all the time, these things are becoming everyone's problem.

Scratch that. These names are not anyone's problem. It's just really fun (fun.) to complain about them.

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Photo: Courtesy of EMI Europe Generic.
N.W. A

So, we know that Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube were not fans of conformity, or the police. But did they leave out that last period in their name (which stands for N---az With Attitude) just to anger the grammar police too?
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Photo: Courtesy of Fueled By Ramen.

Oh, that's where N.W.A's missing period finally landed. Now if we can only find this band's missing Shift key. This name is the worst when you're trying to tweet or write a headline about them. See also: Crazy, Stupid, Love.
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Photo: Courtesy of Interscope Records.

It's clear that all these artists who insert random punctuation into their names never have to write about themselves. Those extra periods (not to mention the lower-case W, which autocorrect really wants to fix) are so irritating to type. If only that were all that irritates us about the Black Eyed Peas.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

While we're on the topic of periods: Attention, creators of this show, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and other offenders: It is actually fine if you leave out periods in long acronyms. And much, much easier for us to type.
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Photo: Courtesy of Decaydance.
Panic! At the Disco

Why! Is the exclamation in the middle? It! Doesn't make sense. There! Was a brief moment when the band decided to leave out the exclamation point altogether, but wiser minds failed to prevail. See also: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the Go! Team, and, of course, 3Oh!3.
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Photo: Courtesy of Mill Creek Entertainment.
What's Happening!!

This late '70s sitcom about African American teens must have wanted to speak to the shouting. Who even uses double exclamation points instead of triple ones!!! See also: What's Happening Now!!
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Photo: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures.
Spider-Man (2012)

Perhaps a grammatically inclined comic book fan would like to explain to us why Iron Man is two separate words, Superman and Batman are one word, and Ant-Man and Spider-Man are hyphenated? Is this something to do with elements vs. mammals vs. invertebrates? Bonus points if you don't make your explanation about DC versus Marvel, or (groan) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
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Photo: Courtesy of Universal Studios.
The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)

For every instance of extra punctuation there are a dozen from which a clarifying mark is missing. Instead of a story about a 40-year-old man who's never had sex, this appears to be a misspelled story about 40 toddlers who, oh, god, please let's not go there. See also: Two Weeks Notice.
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Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Se7en (1995)

How do you pronounce the 1995 David Fincher movie? Because this looks like you'd say, "se-seven-en." See also: deadmau5 ("dead mow-five"?), Ke$ha ("ke-dollar-ha"), A$AP Rocky ("ay-dollar-app rocky"?), and so on.
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Photo: Courtesy of RCA Records.
*N Sync

Do whatever you want with your logo design, boy bands. Just, please, don't make us have to type silly things to re-create them, like using ****ing ****s when an apostrophe would do just fine. See also: M*A*S*H.
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Photo: Courtesy of Southern Lord.
Sunn O)))

The drone metal band got the name from an amplifier brand Sunn, which has a sun with soundwaves on its logo. So, 1) using another brand's name is so not metal; and 2) it's just not nice to make your name unpronounceable by newbies (in case you were wondering, the 0))) is silent). See also: !!!
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Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
(500) Days of Summer (2009)

It feels like we're asking why a lot here, but sorry, this is all just beyond our comprehension. Why is the 500 parenthetical? If you don't think it's important, perhaps you might want to leave it out? If you ask us, you could just as easily call this movie: Joseph Gordon Levitt Deserves Someone Nicer Than Zooey Deschanel's Character. Or, you know, remove the parentheses.
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Photo: Courtesy of Polydor Records.
Spın̈al Tap

Thank you, Wikipedia, for typing out the proper spelling of the 1984 movie's band — with a dotless I and an umlaut over the N — because we have zero idea how to do that on our keyboards. It is, of course, the Christopher Guest-driven spoof on heavy metal bands' excessive use of umlauts in the '80s. It's all about our cut-and-paste skills. See also: Motörhead, Mötley Crüe.
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Photo: Courtesy of Lucasfilm.
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)

If you have to use both a colon and an em dash, you're over-thinking things. The really irritating thing about using both is that no one remembers where each one goes, so you see it written dozens of different ways. Editor geek-out fantasy: Hollywood holds a summit in which they decide once and for all how to format franchise movie names. Take that, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice!
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Photo: Courtesy of Cash Money.
If Youre Reading This Its Too Late

Yes, Drake, we are reading the title of your 2015 album. But it's not too late for you to go comfort your copy editor, who is weeping at her desk after missing her deadline.
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