Today is National Punctuation Day!
Yes, we realize that means little to the texting/Internet commenting crowd, but hear us out on this one. September 24 is National Punctuation Day ever since being founded in 2004 by Jeff Rubin. It is meant to promote the correct usage of punctuation, which we may or may not fully realize within this article (semicolons particularly have always been a bother).
Anyway, National Punctuation Day is probably better understood as “National Grammar Nazi Day.” Seriously, Rubin encourages everyone who has a solid handle on grammar to correct punctuation and send in pictures of glaring errors spotted in various places.
Here are the exact instructions for enjoying National Punctuation Day:
- 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.
Rubin does caution punctuation enthusiasts to not “overdo it,” so we have to hand him some credit for restraint not especially common in Grammar Nazis.
The website for National Punctuation Day also has helpful guides to assist you in understanding each punctuation mark better (or for the first time). Head on over or check out a quick punctuation fail gallery below. If you’re even more daring, we have our own test for your grammar skills… how many mistakes were purposely made in this article?