I’m sure everyone has seen the punctuation meme that points out the difference between “Let’s eat Grandma” and “Let’s eat, Grandma.” Or you’ve heard the joke where a panda walks into a restaurant, eats a sandwich, pulls out a gun and shoots his waiter before leaving, because according to the dictionary, a panda “eats, shoots and leaves.” These examples prove that punctuation saves lives. Well, today is National Punctuation Day, a day to celebrate commas, periods, quotation marks, semicolons and ellipses.
Recently, our office debated whether or not to use the Oxford comma on our website. While most were ambivalent, one of my co-workers was adamantly opposed to using it, while another remarked that not using it “made her head explode.” Though we all hoped she was using hyperbole, we kept our distance for the rest of the day just in case.
However, that got me thinking about what punctuation mistakes make my other co-workers’ heads explode. So, I asked them, and here are their answers.
Jason—“Unnecessary quotation marks”
So is it chicken, or is it not chicken? Maybe they just called it “chicken” and hoped no one would notice.
Emily–“Using apostrophes to make things plural.”
Apostrophes are used for possessives and contractions, not plurals.
Susan–“A complete lack of punctuation”
Or in other words, RUN!
So do you have any punctuation mistakes that make your head explode?
If you want to learn more about punctuation, visit the reference section of your local Half Price Books.