It's National Punctuation Day!



It's finally here: a day devoted to "celebration of the lowly comma, correctly used quotation marks, and other proper uses of periods, semicolons and the ever-mysterious ellipses."


As a former teacher of freshman composition, I feel I must remind you, gentle readers, that we should honor punctuation every day (not to mention proper spelling), but the special National Punctuation Day rituals recommended by Jeff Rubin, the festival's founder, seem particularly appealing:

  • Sleep late.
  • Take a long shower or bath.
  • Go out for coffee and a bagel (or two).
  • Read a newspaper and circle all of the punctuation errors you find (or think you find, but aren't sure) with a red pen.
  • 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.
  • Visit a bookstore and purchase a copy of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style.
  • Look up all the words you circled.
  • Congratulate yourself on becoming a better written communicator.
  • Go home.
  • Sit down.
  • Write an error-free letter to a friend.
  • Take a nap. It has been a long day.

Norma Martinez-Rubin, originator of the punctuation meatloaf, shows off her semicolon. - IMAGE VIA
  • image via
  • Norma Martinez-Rubin, originator of the punctuation meatloaf, shows off her semicolon.

The National Punctuation Day website is sponsoring a punctuation-themed haiku contest. An example:

Dot dot ellipses

The yada yada of print.

So on and so forth.

Or you could prepare a National Punctuation Day meatloaf using this recipe. First person to send in a photo of a meatloaf in the form of a punctuation mark wins a National Punctuation Day t-shirt.

Personally, I'd rather eat food that already comes punctuation-shaped, like, say, a croissant. (It could be a comma or an apostrophe, or you could eat two and say they're quotation marks!) Or a cookie (period) or three (ellipses).

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