September 24th, 2008
11:49 AM ET

Happy National Punctuation Day!

With all the breaking news out there - Clay Aiken, Lindsay Lohan, Abe Vigoda - I’d hate for a story to get lost. And National Punctuation Day is just that kind of story.

For most people, punctuation is an irritant: a misused collection of periods, commas, virgules, question marks and exclamation points that is thrown, willy-nilly, into an e-mail or text message. But for some of us, punctuation is an overlooked treasure. Without punctuation, a declaration turns into a question. Without punctuation, sentences run endlessly until they bump into the next page. Without (correct) punctuation, Canada’s Rogers Communications may not have lost more than $2 million.

So, celebrate the semicolon. Offer hosannas for hyphens. Pay attention to asterisks. National Punctuation Day only comes around once a year - and that day calls for more than one exclamation point!!!

OK, maybe not.

– Todd Leopold, CNN.com Entertainment Producer

P.S. Any errors made in the previous are the fault of my copy editor.


Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. Patty Dillen

    Have been looking at doing some site optimization and improving the web design on my website for a while, so this website has been really helpful. Clear read as well, so thanks!

    December 12, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. k

    The really ironic thing is that the very first post (from Mel, holder of a B.A. in English) has a grammatical error. Mel, please tell me that was intentional.

    October 7, 2008 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Maureen

    Haha...who cares if you have a B.A. in English? You act as though that's impressive. Also, doesn't that mean you studied literature and not grammar and punctuation? I think we're in trouble if they still have to teach you the basics in college.

    And I love how you misused "that" vs. "who". How's that for irony?

    October 7, 2008 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. Sara

    Good on you, America.
    I wonder if we have such a day in Australia.

    October 2, 2008 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  5. Punctual Punctuation

    Representatives of the popular Times Roman font recently announced a shortage of periods and have offered substitutes–such as inverted commas, exclamation marks, and semicolons–until the crisis is overcome by people such as yourself, who through creative management of surplus punctuation can perhaps allay the constant demand for periods, whose heavy usage in the last ten years (not only in English but in virtually every language in the world) is creating a burden on writers everywhere, thus generating a litany of comments, among them: "What the hell am I supposed to do without my periods? How am I going to write? Isn't this a terrible disaster? Are they crazy? Won't this just lead to misuse of other, less interesting punctuation???"

    October 1, 2008 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  6. Steve Trauman

    Now what we need is "Use the Correct Pronoun Day".

    October 1, 2008 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  7. K-man

    Dear Very,
    I'm afraid your Haiku isn't a Haiku. It's 5, 8, 5. But I liked the idea...

    September 30, 2008 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Very

    This blog is so neat.
    Punctuation is awesome!
    So are Haiku's, right?

    September 30, 2008 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Raymond

    National Popcorn Day is a lot more fun! (Jan. 19th...ish)

    September 30, 2008 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. CC Farber

    cool

    September 29, 2008 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Heath

    Yahoo Answers will try to correct you if you use punctuation. Example: Mary said, "I love pizza." Yahoo will complain that you have too much punctuation. No wonder kids today are confused!

    September 29, 2008 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dylan

    What a glorious day! I never knew that "National Punctuation Day" even existed, but I'm certainly happy to find that it does, in fact, exist. I may not be 100% perfect with my use, but I am a still a stickler for correct punctuation. I have received texts and emails, always littered with gross misspellings, where the writer does not use a single period, comma, question mark, etcetera, and it can be so frustrating and confusing that sometimes my only recourse is to reply back "Is that English?!" So, although most people probably do not know or care what today is, I am going to celebrate with gusto!

    September 26, 2008 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Randy

    I am only be a high school graduate. But grammar, punctuation, and spelling are, and always have been, important to me. My use may not always be perfect. But, I find it very sad that our children are graduating from high school without the basic understanding of the language.

    I hope that we can soon address the shortcomings of our public schools and give our future generations the ability to compete in the global workforce.

    September 26, 2008 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  14. cher

    As a copyeditor, punctuations are my bread and butter.

    September 26, 2008 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jim

    Mel, I bemoan your unneccesary comma after the word "punctuation" and your use (two times!) of "that" where "who" is required!

    September 25, 2008 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Lisa

    writerdude – you are absolutely correct! With so many "geniuses" writing in, I wondered if any would catch that. I've found that if you present something logically, most people will take it at face value. I applaud you for actually understanding. :-)

    September 25, 2008 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  17. writerdude

    Lisa wrote: 'And the obvious that was missed by all…”a misused collection of periods, commas, virgules, question marks and exclamation points that is thrown, willy-nilly, into an e-mail or text message”
    Since we are talking about a “collection” of periods, commas, etc., then the correct phrasing would be “points that ARE thrown willy-nilly…”'

    Actually, the conjunctive pronoun "that" refers to "collection," so the verb should be singular as follows: " . . .a misused collection . . . is thrown willy-nilly . . . "

    September 25, 2008 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Todd Leopold, CNN.com Entertainment Producer

    @Richard: My personal preference is serial commas including before the conjunction, but Associated Press style dictates that there should be no comma before the conjunction. If I recall correctly, William Safire also has a bone to pick with the AP about that.

    September 25, 2008 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Richard

    Since there has been debate about it, is the new rule of serial commas that there is no comma before the conjunction?

    Example:

    "It is sad people must engross their own self-worth, validate their now useless undergraduate degrees and hide behind the shield of internet anonymity as they correct others punctuation errors in a public forum."

    vs.

    "It is sad people must engross their own self-worth, validate their now useless undergraduate degrees, and hide behind the shield of internet anonymity as they correct others punctuation errors in a public forum."

    September 25, 2008 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  20. Bill

    Now I can't go to the site to learn about punctuation day.

    Bandwidth Limit Exceeded
    The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to the site owner reaching his/her bandwidth limit. Please try again later.
    --------------------------–

    Apache/2.2.8 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.2.8 OpenSSL/0.9.7a mod_auth_passthrough/2.1 mod_bwlimited/1.4 FrontPage/5.0.2.2635 Server at http://www.nationalpunctuationday.com Port 80

    September 25, 2008 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  21. Cools

    Its exactly whats needed to highlight the need for people to give greater effort in making stronger showing in the form of written communications between themselves and other people and I really think whats even greater is that youre site has high-lighted this in such a prominent way;

    September 25, 2008 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  22. CBANITAP

    Whoops, did I forget my comma?

    September 24, 2008 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  23. CBANITAP

    You all should "Leave Mel Alone!!"

    LOL!

    September 24, 2008 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  24. johnno

    I am currently teaching in South Korea,and have taught in China.
    Konglish /Chinglish/Engrish(Japan) are the oral versions used by Asians to mimic what Westerners have tried to teach them.
    Very little time is given to teaching punctuation.They just don't understand it!!
    Read the English versions of The Korea Times,or the China Daily newspapers and you'll see what I mean.Also blogs from these countries illustrate the complete irrelevency of punctuation.
    John Marshall,
    Kwangju City,
    South Korea.

    September 24, 2008 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Steph

    puncuation is a thing of the past....i mean we no longer even space our words or spell them properly...so i mean whats the use?
    they are all things that would go in the big book of EXTINCT !!!!
    things are getting bad in the world and i guess that puncuation is not one of our priorities unfortunately :(

    September 24, 2008 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  26. sally Weimer

    To Mark - I suggest my favorite spell-checking web site: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary.htm - unless, of course, you were just joking.

    S.W.

    September 24, 2008 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Lee

    Samantha:

    "I, too, have been cursed with being a spelling and grammar Nazi. It makes me absolutely crazy to see how lazy and ignorant people can be with their writing and speaking. But who’s the one to suffer? Me, not them! They couldn’t care less!"

    I believe you meant to say, "I, not they."

    September 24, 2008 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Sara

    I kept reminding myself all last week about this day, and then today I forgot about it! Go figure! In my 11th grade English classes I spent the first 10 minutes of class reviewing the uses of lay/lie instead of reviewing a topic in punctuation – yikes!

    My peeve: APOSTROPHES
    My fave: the semi;colon :-)

    I think Friday's editing "tip" topic for my 12th grade college writing class will be the semi-colon: in celebration of this day, to aid them in Friday's editing, and to declare that it is my my favorite.

    September 24, 2008 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Lass

    Wow! I agree with Samantha, please read before you write! Maybe this should be "be nice to punctuation lovers" week !

    September 24, 2008 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Heather

    Unfortunately, I don't think even National Punctuation day will prevent the rampant misuse of apostrophes.

    September 24, 2008 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  31. LK

    Editors unite! Happy National Punctuation Day to all. Thought for the upcoming year: beware the greengrocer's apostrophe.

    September 24, 2008 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  32. al

    Proofreaders do not do their best either. I cannot tell you how many times I have read this very website and seen errors.

    As my professors taught me spell and grammar check in MS Word does not work 100%.

    I am an admitted grammar/spelling offender. But for professional's it's unacceptable.

    September 24, 2008 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Philip Tanner

    The epitome of journalistic hypocrisy appears in the very post that celebrates National Punctuation Day. Repeat after me: A-comma-B-***comma***-and-C. Why is this so difficult for journalists to get right? Remember this statement from a graduation speech: "I'd like to thank my parents, Pope John Paul and Mother Theresa." Re-read that quote until you understand: the final comma is NOT optional!

    Then again, have you read CNN.com lately? My 3-year-old cat has better copy-editing skills than whoever runs their web site - and he's probably cuter too. The same is true of the text-crawls on the bottom of the screen on CNN and CNN Headline News. The day that I-T-apostrophe-S as a possessive appeared on CNN... well, let's just say that was the beginning of the end in my mind.

    September 24, 2008 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Melanie

    I also have a B.A. in English and am happy to say that I use my degree daily. I refuse to join the millions of people who use abbreviations, symbols, and silly faces to communicate via email and text message. I may be lazy about other things, but when it comes to punctuation, grammar, and spelling, I am a purist.

    September 24, 2008 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Shawnee123

    "As a person that holds a B.A. in English, I both applaud punctuation, and bemoan the fact that most people that e-mail seem never to have heard of it. "

    I bemoan the fact that people aren't thats, people are whos.

    As a person WHO holds a B.A. in English. People WHO email...

    Just sayin'

    September 24, 2008 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Lisa

    And the obvious that was missed by all..."a misused collection of periods, commas, virgules, question marks and exclamation points that is thrown, willy-nilly, into an e-mail or text message"
    Since we are talking about a "collection" of periods, commas, etc., then the correct phrasing would be "points that ARE thrown willy-nilly..."

    September 24, 2008 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Cyndi

    As a high school English teacher, I sometimes find it ironic that I see more errors concerning grammar and usage when reading emails from colleagues than I do in my students' essays. I guess that backs the assertion that spell/grammar check doesn't solve every problem!

    September 24, 2008 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Chad

    In my opinion, the over-use of "quotation marks" is the most "annoying" punctuation mistakes. The sign on my office door reads: "Session in Progress" Do Not Disturb. While I'm happy to be able to celebrate punctiation day on company time and in relative peace, it saddens me that my supposed session that is in progress is apparently ironic.

    September 24, 2008 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  39. tinabee

    punctuation lover: “If you ask for a ‘red hot momma’, you may get a sunburned woman with children who’s having hot flashes and not the ‘red-hot momma’ you were expecting”

    You crack me up!

    This article and its comments just made my day. :)

    September 24, 2008 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  40. mike

    gregor_y – Did your professors teach you about CAPITALIZATION too? Perhaps, they should have taught you about "quotation marks," instead.

    September 24, 2008 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Jean

    Jen, I'm so glad you mentioned apostrophes. The misuse bugs me too but I guess there are worse 'crimes' out there! Have a great day my fellow readers.

    September 24, 2008 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Chad

    Aint none of Y'all have jobs, ore r Y'all just a bunch O inglish teechers?

    September 24, 2008 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Frank

    Give me a break!!! The 20th century 'rules' of punctuation were never concrete. Punctuation is a fluid thing and e-mail/texting are just proof of that. The english language is the biggest mash-up of other languages and crap rules. Toddlers have it right when they say 'I goed to the store'. Get rid of all the irregulars and contradictory rules in english.

    September 24, 2008 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  44. jen

    Thanks, everyone. Yes, I misspelled Mel's name, however, it is not spelling day. In the spirit fo the day, other errors in these postings include:

    Bob Zisek – "For me, reading e-mail messages with little or no correct punctuation, is like finger nails on a chalk board!"
    no comma after punctuation

    Cathy – "How about apostrophe’s? That’s my peave"
    Come on, Cathy, you must've done that on purpose!

    Steve A. – This is the best article I’ve read in day’s…kudos to you all who share my love for proper punctuation…!!!
    You must be joking.

    September 24, 2008 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Jaie

    When did asterisks become punctuation and what do they do? Did I completely miss something? Sh*t!

    September 24, 2008 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Carly

    Long live National Punctuation Day! And, for more fun, celebrate National Sticky Bun Day, which is February 21.

    Besides punctuation, anyone bothered when the "Star Spangled Banner" is sung incorrectly? Yes, "banner" is three notes, two syllables, not any errant variations so often heard. My elementary-school aged sons sing it correctly and are proud to do so.

    Any grammar or punctuation errors in this message may have been included for fun – or perhaps via caffeine withdrawal. Y'all have a happy day anyway!

    September 24, 2008 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  47. R.C. Reynolds

    Okay, so here's the illustration:

    I don't like fish however it is cooked.
    I don't like fish; however, it is cooked.
    I don't like fish, however; it is cooked.
    I don't like fish, however; it is cooked?

    Which sentence reflects what the writer really means?
    Of course, all of them do. But each, by virtue of punctuation, says something different.

    September 24, 2008 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Matt

    I applaud you all for your love of punctuation, but the message thread bears scrutiny. Had all of you been in a room together, rather than names on a website, I doubt very much that such we would be seeing quite so many impolite comments. Although improper punctuation and misspellings are a travesty of modern times, poor manners give all punctuation fanatics a bad image. So much can be conveyed between the lines. Try not to miss the forest for the trees, everyone. Punctuation is a small part of communication, and communication is crippled by poor attitudes and rude remarks. If you think that words are just words, and that their impact stops there, consider the following poem by Williams Carlos Williams:

    so much depends
    upon
    the red wheel
    barrow
    glazed with rain
    water
    beside the white
    chickens

    In case you were wondering, that was the original format of that poem. For anyone who thinks that words are nothing more than words, and that the rude remarks hold no more meaning than the letters and commas, think again. Next time, before you set your fingers to type, consider the power of what you write and how it may be perceived by readers. Remember, once you hit "submit," the writer "dies" and the reader is all that remains.
    With a B.S. and an M.S. in writing and editing, I know well the temptation to jump on a misspelling or grammatical error. However, to do so is to disrespect that which you are defending: communication.

    September 24, 2008 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Linda

    All of us are reading and writing these emails on company time, correct? Or is it we are all....who cares.

    September 24, 2008 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Kelly Lou

    Steve, please tell me you're kidding... "days" does not need an apostrophe. Seriously, that's high school stuff.

    September 24, 2008 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Jean

    I love the fact that there is a day solely dedicated to punctuation! It is truly sad that so many people either don't use it out of laziness or haven't a clue how to. Cindy, this day is for us!

    September 24, 2008 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  52. ADE

    As someone who holds a B.A. in English, me, your punctuation skills are lacking. A comma should separate two parts of a sentence when each part can stand alone. When they cannot, no comma is required. Your sentence should read ".... I both applaud punctuation and bemoan..."

    September 24, 2008 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Deborah

    Here's the tricky part about commas: AP Style says NOT to use one after the second to last item in a list, and Chicago Manual says TO use one. So either way you're in trouble with Grammar Nazis. But if we didn't have something to argue about what fun would it be?

    September 24, 2008 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  54. puncshooashun ftw!

    Puncshooashun iz awesum!!!?! I like, use; it everidai and stuff!~ Im' soooo glad mah teechers' tawt me so well!! yay!

    September 24, 2008 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Pierre

    Wow you guys are tough. Thanks god I wasn't an English major, but an Accountancy major.

    September 24, 2008 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Sandy E.

    I believe Steve means to write "This is the best article I've read in days..." (sans the apostrophe).

    September 24, 2008 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Danny

    Yay for Steve in MKE – more irony! Keep it coming, folks!

    September 24, 2008 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Patricia

    Stop the flagrant misuse of apostrophes in plurals and acronyms!

    September 24, 2008 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Samantha

    You know what else is EXTRA annoying? When people make comments that have already been made by 6 people before them!! Hello, people, read the thread before you comment!!!

    Inefficiency is my next biggest pet peeve.

    September 24, 2008 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  60. gregor_y

    Mel said: As a person that holds a B.A. in English, I both applaud punctuation, and bemoan the fact that most people that e-mail seem never to have heard of it.

    As a person WHO holds a M.A. in English, I am apalled that the professors WHO should have taught you that THAT is for inanimate objects; WHO is for people WHO hold degrees in English. :o)

    Happy Punctuation Day!

    September 24, 2008 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Punctuation Lover

    I love punctuation. I'm a fan of the Oxford comma. And the hyphen is very important to me. My company has recently issued new "writing-style" guidelines. One of their edicts is one to limit use of the hyphen. As I explained to the instructor delineating the new guidelines, "If you ask for a 'red hot momma', you may get a sunburned woman with children who's having hot flashes and not the 'red-hot momma' you were expecting". My favorite book on the subject of punctuation is "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" by Lynne Truss. And another grammar-type book that I love is "Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog", a hilarious history of diagramming. Thanks for letting me know it's National Punctuation Day. I shall celebrate!

    September 24, 2008 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Kettle

    Since we're all being jerky here–it seems to be the norm for the illuminati whenever grammar and punctuation are discussed–I'll point out that Mark's pet peeve is ironic. :-)

    September 24, 2008 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Steve A. - Milw,WI

    This is the best article I've read in day's...kudos to you all who share my love for proper punctuation...!!!

    September 24, 2008 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Angela

    What a great idea! Grammar is my favorite section of English; I wish this day had been publicized more. I will mark my calendar for next year!

    ***Sorry for all of the backlash, Mel. However, we got your point!

    September 24, 2008 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Winona

    Finally, a day I can truly celebrate!

    September 24, 2008 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  66. MaraW.

    Hey Mark, it's "peeve." :o)

    September 24, 2008 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  67. lisa

    um sorry mark, but if your pet 'peave' was truly misspelled words...you might have taken a glance and noticed that you should have spelled peeve with a second e not an a. just a thought. =)

    September 24, 2008 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Geeshgirl

    Mel, you can lose the comma after the word "punctuation"....... :)

    September 24, 2008 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Sam

    Mel – if you have a degree in English, you would would be a person WHO has a degree in English, not a person THAT has a degree. I don't think THAT you do!

    September 24, 2008 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Janeen

    @ Mark

    peeve, not peave

    (The irony – it burns!)

    September 24, 2008 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  71. ms. esther

    Poor, Mel! Personally, I rarely honk my horn about my BA in English because that tidbit of information seems to bring out undercover Grammar Nazis.

    With that being said, I’m happy for national punctuation day! It could be a little barbaric, but I’d like a few activities (like fireworks on the fourth of July or presents at Christmas) where we flog those who misuse commas: twenty lashes for those who arbitrarily throw commas into their writing and another fifty for those who fail to put a comma behind the second to last item in a list. We can tar and feather high-minded people who randomly capitalize words that only have significance and importance to the writer. We can play pen the tail on the idiot who popularized phonetic writing as a form of communication (i.e. i c u). We can pinch those who are confused about their personal pronouns and who don’t know when to use their, there, they’re. Lastly, on this day, we should ban all software and computer programs (who write sentences in the same manner that they write code) from writing any business communications.

    It would be a capital ideal if I were the principle editor for the national punctuation day – I’d correct everything! :)

    September 24, 2008 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Susan T

    ...and most people WHO email.... Yikes.

    September 24, 2008 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Bob

    THANK YOU ! Now I know that I'm not alone!

    September 24, 2008 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Novus Livy

    Punctuation will be with us as long as we read silently. That is why it was invented, to support the new readership of books in print with the advent of the printing press.

    September 24, 2008 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Alison

    Wow, Jen, you insulted Mel but failed to spell his name right even though it clearly appears next to his entry. Grammar Nazis or not, I think we can all agree that no one is perfect. Thank goodness for editors and proofreaders!

    September 24, 2008 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  76. wandering poet

    i wonder what e e cumming would have to say about all this

    September 24, 2008 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Elizabeth

    Oh, Mel.

    September 24, 2008 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Tyler Meldrum

    Mark, I think you'd be better to say that your pet peeve is misspelled words.

    September 24, 2008 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Scott

    Here's a good book....."Eats, Shoots and Leaves."
    jen.....what a snob you are.....;)

    September 24, 2008 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Suzanne

    Mark, you're joking, right?

    September 24, 2008 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Punk Twayshun

    Serial comma users unite! I hate when people list objects, names, places, or other things without correct punctuation.

    September 24, 2008 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Danielle

    I had no idea we have a National Punctuation Day. What fun!

    September 24, 2008 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Samantha

    I, too, have been cursed with being a spelling and grammar Nazi. It makes me absolutely crazy to see how lazy and ignorant people can be with their writing and speaking. But who's the one to suffer? Me, not them! They couldn't care less!

    September 24, 2008 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Sandi

    Destination: HELL. Mode of travel: HAND BASKET.

    I mean, seriously.

    September 24, 2008 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  85. alyssa

    Dear Jen,

    There is only one L in Mel's name.

    Sincerely,
    Alyssa

    September 24, 2008 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  86. cathy

    Good going, Mark. Only a professional would make such a comment and misspell something so purposefully!

    Punctuation. How about apostrophe's? That's my peave.

    September 24, 2008 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Eric Cheung

    This is pretty neat! I do think that grammar, spelling, and syntax are all important because language's goal is ulitimately one of clarity. There is plenty of room for stylistic diversity, even within the confines of proper grammar.

    September 24, 2008 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  88. tammy

    f@ck this Sh!t.. Gotta love the punctuations :)

    September 24, 2008 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Danny

    I must confess that the comment regarding poor spelling as a "pet peave" (sic) amused me with its irony. Very cleverly done, Mark!

    September 24, 2008 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Bob Zisek

    I'm glad there is a Natioanal Punctuation Day. Maybe people, at least on this one day, will pay attention to how they write their e-mails and review them prior to sending them off into the ether. For me, reading e-mail messages with little or no correct punctuation, is like finger nails on a chalk board!

    September 24, 2008 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Rima

    "My pet peave is misspelled words"

    You misspelled "peeve" on purpose, right?

    I also hold a bachelor's in English, and I applaud any and all occasions dedicated to correct grammar.

    My favorite piece of punctuation is the dash–it stands out!

    September 24, 2008 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Mel: You "bemoan the fact that most people that e-mail seem never to have heard of" punctuation; I bemoan the conclusion that you seem to be innocent of the proper usage of "who" versus "that."

    September 24, 2008 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  93. kenneth

    ewe mean ta tell me thats i haves ta use them little critters, like points and half moons on every sentence? oh but why? If not for the commas, periods, and whatnots. Glad that we have them.

    September 24, 2008 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  94. jen

    Dear B.A. Mell,

    There should not be a comma before "and bemoan". There is no subject to the second part of the sentence. : ) Maybe you should further your studies and go back for an M.A.

    September 24, 2008 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Gene

    Yes, and why most folks think simple plurals require " 's " is beyond me.

    September 24, 2008 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Carl

    I agree with Mel. But I must extend my despair further to non-email printed material. Too much printed material also suffers from lack of clear thought, which punctuation enhances.

    September 24, 2008 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  97. Seamus

    Mel! Burn that B.A. of yours for that comma separating your compound verb!

    Viva la Grammar Nazis!

    September 24, 2008 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Lauren

    I can't celebrate any punctuation day that does not celebrate serial commas - as this entry clearly does not! :-)

    September 24, 2008 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  99. carrie

    maybe we should have a capitalization day too....

    mabee eeven a speling day, two.

    September 24, 2008 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  100. Bravado in Boston

    If it weren't for punctuation, we would all be "run-ons": I am certain they exist in politcs. But for now, let's assume there are no politics; enjoy the day! Happy National Punctuation Day!

    September 24, 2008 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  101. Neil

    For shame, Mel! Any person holding a degree in English should know that it is, "...a person who holds...", not "...a person that holds..."!

    September 24, 2008 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  102. bob seekonk ma

    There's good news and bad news here. The good news is that there are omly 365 days in a year. The bad news is wasting one of them on the $$$hi###!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 24, 2008 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  103. Mark

    Punctuation, I can take it or leave it. My pet peave is misspelled words.
    Especially from professionals!!

    September 24, 2008 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  104. Ted Marson

    Too little too late, I'm afraid. Unfortunately, email and text-messaging have rendered proper punctuation as all but superfluous in today's world... along with spelling and capitalization. Thank goodness I got that degree in English!! I'm a true anomaly now.

    September 24, 2008 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  105. me

    what the #%$@?

    September 24, 2008 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  106. Mel

    As a person that holds a B.A. in English, I both applaud punctuation, and bemoan the fact that most people that e-mail seem never to have heard of it. :)

    September 24, 2008 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |

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