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Punctuate to communicate

22nd Sep, 2014 | Posted by in Blog
Punctuate to communicate

Let’s eat, Grandma.

Let’s eat Grandma.

Punctuation can mean the difference between a family meal and cannibalism, yet there are so many examples of poorly punctuated messages all around the world. From road signs to text conversations and everything in-between, Punctuation Day on Wednesday 24th September is all about knowing your parentheses from your ellipsis.

I recommend taking a gander at this guide by The University of Sussex. The gapping comma is one of my personal faves, but the most useful section will probably be the comparison between the colon and the semicolon. Aww yeah, now we’re talkin’!

As usual, here’s my take on the day in the form of a visual list of silliness. The topic for this post is punctuation that…

 

…gives too much information.

Punctuation1

It’s none of my business how slippery pedestrians can be, regardless of their level of dryness.

 

…creates an overly specific situation.

Punctuation2

Do you know many pregnant disabled people that are children and yet somehow elderly at the same time? Can’t say that I do, personally.

 

…causes you to look uncertain of everything.

Punctuation3

Because, when you “think” about it, do you really “need” all of those “quotes”?

 

…will confuse the average human.

Punctuation4

I prefer to eat my food and drink my beverages rather than smoke them, but that’s just me.

 

…makes false claims.

Punctuation5

I’d apply for a job at Burger King just for the novelty factor of being interviewed by a cartoon sea sponge.

 

…almost seems wrong on purpose, but isn’t.

Punctuation7

Similar to this brand, words fail me.

 

…might cause parents to feel uncomfortable.

Punctuation8

Amazing how much difference a single space can make.

 

…is opinionated and rude.

Punctuation9

Thanks for your money, you work-shy loser.

 

…results in you coming across as needy.

Punctuation10

Basically, I’ll only have intercourse with you if embryogenesis ensues.

 

…could actually be a matter of life or death.

Punctuation11

Because there’s nothing worse than spooking your prey and it dropping trail mix everywhere.

 

…looks absolutely perfect.

Punctuation12

Some people say that flawless punctuation becomes invisible, in that the reader doesn’t even pick up on it because the sentences flow smoothly and without unintended obstruction. However, I notice punctuation even when it’s perfectly arranged, most probably because I’m a writer by trade.

For me, correct and effective application of punctuation is a joy to behold: a lack of unnecessary exclamation marks or a dash where others would fall back on a comma can really make me smile. And I’m not the only one, as I’ve met a few people during my travels who adore punctuation just as much, if not more so. One example is Brittany Tomlinson, an English graduate with a fondness for the semicolon so strong that she had one tattooed onto her wrist. That’s true dedication, and, like the joining comma, makes me pause for breath.

About the author...

Rich Sutherland

Rich is a copywriter and social media manager who loves writing about random things in his spare time. Between weekly posts for Days of the Year, he can be found on his blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram. He also writes short stories within 140 characters on his @tinyweefiction channel. If you see him in the street, make sure to wave (he's 6'4" with glasses, a beard and rockabilly hair - can't miss him).
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Rich Sutherland's website

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