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Celebrate National Punctuation Day!

Okay, students, put on your party hats! It’s time to celebrate the not-so-lowly punctuation mark. We’re a little late to join the baking contest planned as part of the celebration, but there nothing stopping us from using commas, periods, apostrophes, and semi-colons to our hearts content. Choose your favorite punctuation mark and make merry!

Imagine a worldundefinedwithout punctuation a world in which wed have to guess at meanings and try to read smoothly without the aid of those handy little signals imagine how silly wed sound stumbling through Dickens or trying to skim through Hamlets soliloquy to be or not to be that is the question whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them to die to sleep no more and by a sleep to say we end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to making sense of that without punctuation could be quite a nightmare especially for 10th graders if they are allowed to read Shakespeare anymore

Jeff Rubin, the founder of National Punctuation Day offers tongue-in-cheek suggestions for how to celebrate the holiday, including:

  • Sleep late.
  • Go out for coffee and a bagel (or two).
  • 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.

Rubin has graciously provided a page of horrifyingly funny pictures of errors spotted in public places (and instructions for how you can submit your own photos) . TIP: If you don’t find all the photos on this page hilarious, find a grammatically-correct friend to explain the joke. They’re too funny to miss!

P.S. The fact that I find these common errors funny doesn’t mean that I don’t occasionally overlook things in my own writing. It also doesn’t mean that I check incoming e-mails for typos. I’m not perfect, and I don’t expect you to be. I’m always writing under deadline, and I expect that you are too, so don’t worry about having your comments or e-mails perfectly proofread. I don’t have the time or inclination. I just like to hear from you–with or without typos!

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