Happy National Punctuation Day!

j0442128Today, 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).

j0441428I 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!

11 thoughts on “Happy National Punctuation Day!

  1. Let me take this opportunity right now to apologize for all the dangling participles, misplaced modifiers, and trillions of commas I use in any given post….

    Thanks for this, though. I had no idea the site existed, and since it says there in plain English to take a nap, that will be first and foremost on my list today.

  2. GAH … I hate! hate! misused punctuation AND those …….. if you must use …… limit it to … more than that is stupid, and annoying to read.

    I also take exception to those who make lists, and put that extra comma before the and ………… their is no kneed, people, no kneed fore that comma!

    1. Actually Daryl, opinions vary on the use of the comma before the conjunction in a series. The Nat’l Punctuation Day website quotes Elements of Style:

      Use commas to separate elements in a series, and DO
      put a comma before the conjunction in a simple series
      of three or more items.

      The flag is red, white, and blue.
      He would nominate Tom, Dick, or Harry.

      I love ellipses and the correct number of periods is always three – no more, no less. (Or is it fewer?)

  3. First, I want to apologize for my disgraceful punctuation at times. Second, on Twitter yesterday one of the popular # for the day was #yourlame. I thought that was funny. It would have made your head explore probably.

  4. Please do not come to my site and judge me. I may have to hang my head in shame for not remembering all the rules of punctuation I learned in elementary school.

    We celebrated it at school. I took a note up to a child who was in grammar class and got to eat some periods. They looked the best to me. (M & M’s).

  5. Can’t believe you mentioned this important date but failed to give a shout out to the nearly equally significant National Talk Like a Pirate Day, Sept 20th. ARGH! (God, I hope my punctuation is correct on this; you are a stern task-master.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s