Friday, September 24, 2010

celebrating punctuation

One of my favorite classes in college was Editing and Design 1 - otherwise known as a whole lot of grammar, punctuation and sentence diagramming. I couldn't let this day pass without a little celebration.
Take a quiz 
It's hard. Though I am all over the interrobang.

Some blogs for the grammar and punctuation elites
Literally, A Weblog

And finally, my favorite quotes from Eats, Shoots and Leaves.
 "In the family of punctuation, where the full stop is the daddy and the comma is mummy, and the semicolon quietly practices the piano with crossed hands, the exclamation mark is the big attention-deficit brother who gets over-excited and breaks things and laughs too loudly."

"The rule is: don’t use commas like a stupid person. I mean it." 

"I recently heard of someone studying the ellipsis (or three dots) for a PhD. And, I have to say, I was horrified. The ellipsis is the black hole of the punctuation universe, surely, into which no right-minded person would willingly be sucked, for three years, with no guarantee of a job at the end. "

"The rule is: the word 'it's' (with apostrophe) stands for 'it is' or 'it has'. If the word does not stand for 'it is' or 'it has' then what you require is 'its'. This is extremely easy to grasp. Getting your itses mixed up is the greatest solecism in the world of punctuation. No matter that you have a PhD and have read all of Henry James twice. If you still persist in writing, 'Good food at it's best', you deserve to be struck by lightning, hacked up on the spot and buried in an unmarked grave."  

Have a happy, mistake-free day.


  1. I love the first quote about exclamation points.

  2. Oh man!!! I hope you weren't inspired by my incorrectly-punctuated blog!!! I need to read that book -but it will tell me to stop using so many commas, and I really, really, like them!!!

    Well, at least I don't write they're when I mean their, that is the worst...


  3. Yikes! I write for a living and I only got 5!