NATIONAL PUNCTUATION DAY

September 24 is the day we grammarians celebrate punctuation. Hooray!

When it comes to writing, I see people erring on the side of too much punctuation. When it comes to punctuation, too much is not a good thing.

Don’t overuse commas. There are rules for comma use. Follow them. When in doubt, leave it out. Furthermore, don’t use a comma to end a sentence. This infraction is known as the comma splice. Periods and question marks are for ending a sentence.

Don’t overuse apostrophes, either. Apostrophes do not belong in possessive pronouns or plurals. When in doubt, leave it out. Why do educated people suddenly lapse into punctuation amnesia and use apostrophes for plural words? I have no idea, but the practice has grown at an alarming rate.

Don’t overuse exclamation points. Use them sparingly if at all or risk losing your reader.

Finally, use italic font for emphasis, not all caps. Just because you see the all-uppercase-font words in text messages or on Twitter, doesn’t make it correct usage for your writing.

Brush up on good punctuation and celebrate the holiday.

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