23 September 2010

Celebrate the Lowly Comma!

You probably don’t know this. (I didn’t.) But tomorrow, Sept. 24, 2010, is National Punctuation Day here in the United States. The event has its own website. The organizer, Jeff Rubin, a former newspaper reporter, describes the day as “a celebration of the lowly comma, correctly used quotation marks, and other proper uses of periods, semicolons, and the ever-mysterious ellipsis.”

In case you wonder how one marks such a special day, Jeff has these suggestions:

1. Read a newspaper and circle all of the punctuation errors you find (or think you find, but aren’t sure) with a red pen. (If you’re reading a website like this one, send a correction email noting punctuation errors.)

2. 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.

Frankly, I see no reason why this has to be a mere national event. Anyone anywhere in the world can do this. Have at it!

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