September 24, 2013

National Punctuation Day -- Showing Respect

Normally I post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. But today is National Punctuation Day. As a writer and editor, I'm a fan of punctuation.

Let's take a moment to show some love to the marks honored on this fine day.


. = Without it, we'd live a life of run-on sentences and no thought would ever end

, = Without it we'd never pause and we'd die from being incapable of taking a breath unless the period made it's way finally into a sentence.

; = Another air quality mark this one allows us a greater distinction than the comma (and no, its sole purpose is not to create winky faces).

: = Often underused today, it has many uses dialogue, question and answer, sentence separation, lists, and more.

. . . = From the Greek to leave out, the lovely ellipsis is often misused and misrepresented (especially with spacing). "Four score and seven years ago our fathers"

" " = Without it, we'd have no clue when the narrator or a character was speaking. And Four score and seven years ago from above would not be shown the proper respect.

? = What would our world be without questions

! = Strong emotions would be lost without it. "No," Dad screamed. It's just not the same. However, overusing ! only cheapens it.

Used with permission from Debbie Ridpath Ohi at

Be kind to punctuation today. Show them some love!!! Oh wait, not that much love.

What punctuation mark do you find most overused?

For me, it's the comma. Some writers love them. I respect them, and try to use them properly. However, I don't love long, wordy sentences. Too many commas in one sentence equals too long a sentence, at least in my humble opinion.

Oh, and I got a little sneaky with my list of punctuation marks above. In each definition, I omitted the very punctuation mark I was defining. And, yes, I realize I'm a bit more giddy about this than some of you may be. *wink*


Jo Michaels said...

I totally caught your leave-outs before I got to the end. Rock on! What a lovely post for national punctuation day :) I oftentimes find myself going back and taking out an exclamation point or two. Thanks for sharing, Tia. WRITE ON!

krystal jane said...

YAY! Punctuation Day!!!!!!!! Lol!

What's a semi-colon? Lol! Kidding, but seriously, I am most loathed to use those things in my writing and I can't for the life of me understand why. I do like my ellipsis though... *muhahaha*

Unknown said...

Thanks for an interesting post. I'll have to put 24 September in my calender for next year.

I do have a love hate with punctuation though. As soon as I think I have it sussed I realise my commas are still wandering into teh worng places.