Today, September 24, is National Punctuation Day! Did you know there is a whole website dedicated to the celebration of this day? But that’s not all the website does: It also contains helpful guidlines on correct usage of all of your favorite punctuation marks! For example, the Colon:
The sign used to mark a major division in a sentence to indicate that what follows is an elaboration, summation, interpretation, etc., of what precedes; and to separate groups of numbers, as hours from minutes (5:30) or the elements of a ratio or proportion (1:2).
I am a punctuation freak. Misplaced apostrophes make my eye twitch. Too many commas cause me to hyperventilate. I’ll break into a cold sweat if I see misused quotation marks. It takes Herculean portions of restraint to keep myself from correcting signs with a fat red Sharpie.
And don’t even get me started on the mixing-up of words like your/you’re, they’re/their/there, too/to. It’s enough to make me apoplectic.
Borrowed and reposted from the NPD website, here’s a game plan for your celebration of National Punctuation Day®. Take note and follow closely.
A few words of caution: Don’t overdo it.
- Sleep late.
- Take a long shower or bath.
- Go out for coffee and a bagel (or two).
- Read a newspaper and circle all of the punctuation errors you find (or think you find, but aren’t sure) with a red pen.
- Take a leisurely stroll, paying close attention to store signs with incorrectly punctuated words.
- Stop in those stores to correct the owners.
- If the owners are not there, leave notes.
- Visit a bookstore and purchase a copy of Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style.
- Look up all the words you circled.
- Congratulate yourself on becoming a better written communicator.
- Go home.
- Sit down.
- Write an error-free letter to a friend.
- Take a nap. It has been a long day.
Enjoy your day!