Punctuate this!

Yay! Today is National Punctuation Day. And if you know me at all you know that this is a day I love to celebrate.

So here’s to the proper use of those amazing little marks and their ever-important jobs of clarifying meaning by indicating the separation of words into sentences, clauses, and phrases.

Apostrophe: Predominately used to indicate the omission of one or more letters (contraction) or for the marking of possessives.

Brackets and parenthesis: Used as matched sets to set apart or interject other or supplementary text.

Colon: As a general rule, a colon informs the reader that the following proves, explains, or simply provides elements of what is referred to before.

Comma: Used to indicate a separation of ideas or elements within the structure of a sentence.
(And let us not forget the awesomeness of the Oxford comma!)

Dash: (of which there are two primary types: en dash and em dash; not to be confused with a hyphen)
En dash: Used to show a range of values, relationships and connections, compound adjectives, and to relate parenthetical expressions.
Em dash: Often used for the demarcation of parenthetical thoughts or similar interpolation but also used to indicate an unfinished sentence when a quoted speaker is interrupted.

Ellipsis: Usually indicates an intentional omission of a word in the original text but can also be used to indicate a pause in speech or an unfinished thought.

Exclamation mark: Generally used after an interjection or exclamation to indicate strong feelings or high volume, and often marks the end of a sentence.

Hyphen: Used to join words or to separate the syllables in a single word

Kissend*: A common way to sign off on a message (hand-written or electronic) in the UK – although without the same lovey-dovey connotation it would carry in the USA. x

Period (full stop): Used as the concluding punctuation to most sentences but can also be used to mark initialisms or abbreviations.

Question mark: A mark most often found at the end of a sentence or phrase to indicate a direct question.

Quotation marks: Used primarily to mark the beginning and end of a passage attributed to another and repeated word for word.

Semicolon: Used to connect independent clauses and indicating a closer relationship between the clauses than a period.

* OK, I made up the name for that bit of punctuation, but it’s a punctuation mark that I like and I decided that it needed a name so there you have it: A kissend. x

7 Replies to “Punctuate this!”

  1. I love to use ellipsis! But, I’m sure I misuse them all the time! I just think they make really good commas, which I think are also used incorrectly much of the time. By the way, what is the plural form of ellipsis and what would you call multiple exclamation points or question marks? (hyper ellipsis or wondering ellipsis?) XD

    1. So glad you asked, because there is a plural form of ellipsis and it’s ellipses. (Yay!)
      I think that the plural of exclamation/question mark is as simple as adding an ‘s’ to the end. However, I think that there are very few instances where more than one should be used. IMAO (in my awesome opinion)

  2. currently wading thru “Eats, Shoots and Leaves” on her handheld reader …….. what a lot i didn’t know (or use)
    yes, i do write in lower case online (a leftover from single-handed typing days of holding the napping baby while typing)

    1. I love that book!
      Another good one is “Grammar Snobs are Great Big Meanies” by June Casagrande. She talks about how language is an evolving art form and is really more theoretical than anything else.

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