9
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I'll make you stop and take a breath,
and you'll continue, or else comes death.
I'm smart - my brother went to college
across the seas to gain some knowledge.

Some people don't like me nearly enough -
it makes understanding them I think too tough.
But one thing's for certain and, man, this is true -
I'd rather see too many me's than too few.

Who or what am I?

Hint:

You've seen me today if you read this riddle

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Great riddle! I'm guessing this is a "who am I" puzzle? You could perhaps do with making that clear, at the moment there is a rhyme but no question. $\endgroup$ – Astralbee Aug 3 '18 at 14:15
  • $\begingroup$ "I'm smart! My brother went to college!" :D $\endgroup$ – jafe Aug 6 '18 at 14:49
7
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I’ve come to realize

you are a comma.

I'll make you stop and take a breath, / and you'll continue, or else comes death.

Commas allow one to take a brief pause when reading. I think the second line references either literal death (if the reader doesn’t exhale) or the death of the idea conveyed by the sentence read.

I'm smart - my brother went to college / across the seas to gain some knowledge.

A reference to the Oxford comma. Named after the Oxford University Press, it is an optional comma that precedes “and” within a list (though, if you ask me, it ain’t optional). :-)

Some people don't like me nearly enough - / it makes understanding them I think too tough.

Commas may be seen as unnecessary clutter. However, a lack of commas can cause confusion, as (maybe?) exemplified here.

But one thing's for certain and, man, this is true - I'd rather see too many me's than too few.

I agree; I prefer commas for the sake of clarity. A sentence’s meaning can change if it’s missing a sorely needed comma. See here for a fun joke.

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  • $\begingroup$ +1 for the joke :-D $\endgroup$ – Stender Aug 6 '18 at 13:53
  • $\begingroup$ +1 for the joke, and you are correct. The line with "It makes understanding them I think too tough" was indeed meant to rot13(fbhaq jrveq jvgubhg pbzznf). $\endgroup$ – elarr Aug 6 '18 at 15:24

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