Happy National Punctuation Day!

Did you know that today is National Punctuation Day? Who knew there was whole day set aside to think about punctuation?

I could probably use a brush-up on these rules. One of my kids recently told me that he got major points off an essay I had checked because of a run-on sentence. I guess I didn’t catch a misused comma or semicolon! So much for bragging about being an English major in college…

To celebrate this big day, I grabbed these grammar and punctuation books at the library. I’m going to flip through them and try to nail down some of my comma weaknesses!

Here’s the full list, with links to Goodreads.

Gwynne’s Grammar: The Ultimate Introduction to Grammar and the Writing of Good English by N.M. Gwynne

The Associated Press Guide to Punctuation by Rene J. Cappon

Semicolon: The Past, Present, and Future of a Misunderstood Mark by Cecelia Watson

Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer

Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris

In case you were wondering, National Punctuation Day was founded in 2004 by a guy named Jeff Rubin (nationalpunctuationday.com). You can learn more about Jeff here.

What are your biggest punctuation weaknesses?

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

50 thoughts on “Happy National Punctuation Day!

  1. It’s, Its and its’ drive me nuts. The other thing that’s a bit maddening is the incorrect use of I and me in a sentence. Eg- who went to the beach? Me and Johnny –

    1. Hi Susan – I know – same here! I had those drilled into me in middle school so I don’t have a problem remembering them. I was also corrected a lot at the dinner table when I was growing up. I’m good with apostrophes too, but commas, well that’s a different story 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting. Hope you are doing well.

      1. I often correct people when they say I instead of me – only with those who I know who won’t hate me forever of course – but it grates so hard! All good thanks, hope same with you 😀

  2. It seems just yesterday that I had to break the habit of double spacing after a period. Now, I struggle with the various dashes, not because I don’t know how to use them, but because so many styles are acceptable, particularly with regard to spaces before and after. Of course, consistency is the key, but with such a variety of possibilities passing before my eyes on a daily basis, I can never remember what my style is…

    1. Hi Karen, I know what you’re saying. I forced myself not to double space after a period, but it took some time to get used to that. I like to stay current, so I’m glad I made the change. I don’t know the rules about dashes, but I see the em dash in published books, so I try to use that with no spaces. Consistency is key, as you say. Thanks for reading and commenting. I hope you are doing well!

      1. Many publications use the em dash without space but others put spaces around it, which does add it a bit of elegance. The font also influences the impression on the page. It can all get quite complicated for the conscientious self-published author!

      2. I have often wondered about the space between the em dash and what the rule is. I’m sure grammar and punctuation experts have very strong opinions about it 🙂

    1. I’m the least confident about commas. Whenever anyone asks, I tell them to look it up! I need an editor, Jill! Thanks for reading and commenting – it’s a rainy day here – finally!

    1. Oh my, Noelle! What a conincidence! Hope that gets resolved. Once my “s” key stopped working, but it was because a crumb got underneath the key on the keyboard. I guess I shouldn’t snack when I blog 😉 Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. Mary Norris’ book popped out in the stack you’re showing on this post. Early in 2019, I was investigating proper comma use in my memoir manuscript. As I recall, my copyeditor was big into the Oxford comma. At this time also, I read Between You and Me and reviewed it here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2808421388

    I’ll probably never part with my copy of Strunk & White’s Elements of Style.
    Great post, Barbara!

      1. Hi Marian – I was trying to figure out how to share it through Goodreads on my Book Club Mom Facebook page, but it only would let me do it on my personal page…I’ll get back to that and see if there’s a way!

  4. Very cool post! I had no idea National Punctation Day existed, but I really appreciate that it does. I struggle with run-on sentences and never being quite sure if I’m using the semicolon appropriately – maybe I should check out the Semicolon book! Also, I remember seeing a book about unusual punctuation marks a few years ago, called Shady Characters. Maybe for next year’s National Punctuation Day!!

    1. Hi Hannah and thanks for stopping by! I tend to overuse the exclamation point and I’m never sure if I’m using too many commas. But then I read books in which the authors are basically free-styling and I think, well I can do what I want, can’t I? I’m going to look for Shady Characters. That sounds like a good one.

  5. I think commas are the culprit for me, Barbara. And when your and you’re are used incorrectly, it really bugs me. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this collection and have a good weekend! 🥰

  6. Don’t feel too badly, because it seems as if some of the rules for punctuation have changed over the years. I was also an English major in college, but I bet I’m not getting it right all of the time!

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