Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happy National Punctuation Day!

Today is National Punctuation Day, and I'm a huge fan! I love all things related to grammar, even the difficult stuff. Punctuation usage can be tricky, which is why I think a lot of people use punctuation improperly. Some people aren't up for the challenge, so they give in to laziness and apathy. Luckily, I'm not the only person in the world who is geeked out about the proper implementation of commas, colons, and semicolons. Jeff Rubin is a former copy editor and the founder of National Punctuation Day. I complain about bad grammar all the time, but Rubin actually makes corrections to newspaper articles and sends them to the writers. He's my hero! His dedication to punctuation has sparked a lot of discussion on this day that he created. A Google search of "National Punctuation Day" resulted in twenty articles, including one from a Canadian paper lamenting the absence of an apostrophe in Tim Hortons, their national Dunkin Donuts chain. For that matter, Americans can lament the lack of an apostrophe in Dunkin Donuts as well.

I'd like to thank Rubin for his yeoman's effort in making us aware of this seemingly simple, yet often overlooked, part of grammar. He's sparked debate, and I hope he has inspired the punctuationally challenged (I know punctuationally isn't an actual word) to tackle their fear of punctuation and practice National Punctuation Day every day.

In honor of National Punctuation Day, I'm posting one of my favorite signs from this year's trip to Japan. This was on the bathroom door in my Kyoto hotel room. Since we're focusing on National Punctuation Day, I won't discuss the obvious - and hilarious - grammar issue caused by the Japanese-to-English translation. No, I'll simply mention that the first period is not necessary because there is only one English sentence on this sign. The sign should (technically) read, "Please close the bath door because a fire alarm will be worked by a steam." (I laughed out loud when I typed that.)

Happy National Punctuation Day!


Marc said...

I'm laughin' at how strange you are. :-)

Tammy H. said...

Re: "Dunkin Donuts" and its lack of an apostrophe, let's not forget "Lands' End," another company that knows nothing about proper punctuation!

shrinecastle said...

Now I'm really confused. I worked the Yankees game last night, and one of the sponsors is Dunkin Donuts. The logo had an apostrophe! When did that happen?!
Anyway, Tammy's comment led me to search for other apostrophe usage in business names, and I found a blog by an Irishman who writes about the English language. Pretty interesting stuff:

Marc said...

And to think that you lived in Boston for 3 1/2 years. For shame.