If you’re looking for a holiday to celebrate as summer wanes in North America, today is it: National Punctuation Day!
Even if you are reading this post after the fact, punctuation is always something to celebrate. After all, it keeps us out of trouble. Note this example:
No price is too high!
No, price is too high!
The comma, colon, semicolon, parentheses, apostrophe, and more–each one keeps us from communicating the wrong message.
But a holiday? I learned of this special day from writer and publicist Linda Rimac Colberg, firstname.lastname@example.org, who forwarded a press release entitled "Think a Semicolon Is a Surgical Procedure? Celebrate National Punctuation Day, August 22, 2005." Because the release had a catchy title and was punctuated perfectly, it got my attention.
Apparently this holiday is the brainchild of Jeff Rubin, who has dedicated a web site to celebrating those tiny marks. And it’s a helpful site too. On the home page, Jeff allows you to click on each of 13 different marks and learn all about it. (Yes, 13. Can you name them?)
I clicked on the ellipsis ("An ellipsis is not when the moon moves in front of the sun," as the page notes) for an excellent detailed explanation with examples. If you want to find out about the ellipsis, click here.
What’s next? International Grammar Day? Plain English Day? Count me in.