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Fun Fact #26: It Is Punctuation Day!

Good morning. It’s National Punctuation Day 2019!

(Can you feel my enthusiasm with that exclamation point?)

What is National Punctuation Day?

According to the website, https://www.nationalpunctuationday.com/, today is the 16th celebration of National Punctuation Day. It is celebrated every September 14th as:

“A celebration of the lowly comma, correctly used quotation marks, and other proper uses of periods, semicolons, and the ever-mysterious ellipsis”

Author’s note: Ellipsis is the omission of a word or series of words. There are two slightly different definitions of ellipsis which are pertinent to literature. The first definition of ellipsis is the commonly used series of three dots, which can be place at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of a sentence or clause.

The other definition of ellipsis is a linguistically appropriate omission of words that are mutually understood and thus unnecessary. This type of ellipsis is usually used where the words omitted would be redundant. For example, a person might say, “I went to the mall on Monday, and she on Sunday.” A contextually identical sentence would be “I went to the mall on Monday, and she went to the mall on Sunday.” The words “to the mall” are omitted because they are understood from the context what the speaker is referring to.”  Source: literary devices

Why is punctuation so important?

Punctuation defines how we interpret the written word. When you have a moment, read a great article in the New York Times, February 9, 2018: Oxford Comma Dispute Is Settled as Maine Drivers Get $5 Million:

“Ending a case that electrified punctuation pedants, grammar goons and comma connoisseurs, Oakhurst Dairy settled an overtime dispute with its drivers that hinged entirely on the lack of an Oxford comma in state law.

The dairy company in Portland, Me., agreed to pay $5 million to the drivers, according to court documents filed on Thursday.

The relatively small-scale dispute gained international notoriety last year when the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that the missing comma created enough uncertainty to side with the drivers, granting those who love the Oxford comma a chance to run a victory lap across the internet.” Read more…

See what we mean? Our elementary and middle school teachers were on to something when they took off points for poor punctuation.

Celebrate the written word today.

Enjoy this punctuation day and celebrate the practice of using the various punctuation marks that help us to convey happiness, anger, or just making a point. Hey, we all make mistakes so let’s be kind to each other. If you find an error, point it out with kindness and that person will thank you. (It happens to the best of us.)

Enjoy the day and happy punctuating!

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