The writer’s, grammarian’s, editor’s, and proofreader’s equivalent to Thanksgiving, National Punctuation Day is a day to celebrate and be thankful for punctuation, without which written sentences would have no structure, organization, emphasis, or emotion. You can also be thankful that, contrary to how it might appear, you’re not alone in understanding why “you’re” was used in this sentence over “your.”
National Punctuation Day was created by Jeff Rubin in 2004 to promote the correct usage of punctuation, which we don’t recommend taking for granted. Just think of the chaos that would ensue if sentences were left without a period or question mark, if everyone was just walking around thinking that one of the apostrophe’s uses is to indicate that a word is plural, or if commas were just placed anywhere in a sentence, or worse, forgotten.
Celebrate National Punctuation Day by keeping an eye out for punctuation errors in your morning newspaper, signs, or any written document you encounter through out the day. Make sure to proofread all of your writing today. If you’re punctuation challenged, we’ll only judge you if you don’t make an effort to use correct punctuation. There are plenty of resources out there, but for quick and simple tips, check out Grammar Girl’s punctuation tips.
In celebration of National Punctuation Day, the New Yorker‘s Questioningly blog is holding a punctuation-inspired contest on Twitter. The challenge? Create a new punctuation mark by combining two existing punctuation marks.
Oh, also, you have to name your fused punctuation mark and give some sense of its function. An already existing example is the interrobang, ?!, which conveys excited disbelief.
- Ben Greenman, Questioningly
Before you go pairing punctuation marks together, make sure to consider each punctuation mark’s personality and lifestyle for compatibility. After all, if they’re going to work together, you want them to get along.