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10 Tips to Prevent Punctuation Misuse

Apparently today is National Punctuation Day. In America. I decided to contribute to the celebrations by helping writers worldwide get to grips with their punctuation. Because badly punctuated prose really shows up one's short (ee) cummings.

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  1. If you are unsure where the apostrophe goes, don't look it up. Just have a guess. No one really cares anyway, especially not on the Internet.
  2. Exclamation marks make you appear friendly!!!!!!! The more you use, the friendlier you appear!!!!!!!! Friendly is almost the exact opposite of psychotic!!!!
  3. The Spanish add an inverted exclamation mark at the beginning of sentences as a philosophical reminder that what was at the beginning will also be at the end. Only upside down. That's also why they give their babies margaritas.
  4. Americans: say period enough and the Brits will understand. They won't be thinking of menstruation at all. Period.
  5. We really need a new punctuation mark denoting sarcasm, otherwise how will we be able to tell?
  6. With dashes – it is not size – but performance that counts.
  7. Commas are used to separate clauses, such as Santa, his wife, or Gollum's cat.
  8. The Oxford comma should only be employed whilst punting a boat the wrong way down a river, losing the boat race and coming a long way behind Cambridge in the world's best universities ranking.
  9. When an English Graduate corrects your punctuation, apologise, and then repeat you meal order more precisely.
  10. Colons are tricky in an office environment. Think twice before you show your colleagues a semi in case it does not stand up.

Originally published on SmyWord.com

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