(NewsNation Now) — Whether you’re the type who gets bent out of shape when you see a semicolon used improperly or you have passionate feelings about the Oxford (also called serial) comma, there is finally a holiday for you: Friday is National Punctuation Day.
As a side note, here at NewsNation we follow Associated Press style, which forbids almost all use of the serial comma. This is sometimes jarring to those from the world of academia or grade school grammar, where one is taught that a comma must always appear before “and” in a series.
Do you have a punctuation pet peeve? Goodreads polled its members on Facebook and Twitter to ask, and the top punctuation issue was apostrophes in plurals. Puzzled? Here’s an example: The bear sharpened its claws. If you wanted to write “it’s,” you’re part of the problem.
Many have blamed the “demise” of punctuation on chat-speak and the internet, which have legitimized emojis, LOLspeak and chat abbreviations instead of proper usage. However, the internet has also allowed those who are devoted to the proper written word to band together and try to spread their gospel. Search Facebook for “grammar” and you’ll come up with hundreds. (Note: Your author runs one, but decency forbids me from plugging it here.)
Even if you consider yourself a punctuation train wreck, it’s never too late to learn! There are a wealth of resources online such as Grammar Girl and Road to Grammar that will help you answer questions and teach you a bit along the way. Give it a try! At the very least, it will make your work communications sound more educated.
It’s still OK if you say hai to the kittehs once in a while, though. Such things are good for the brain.
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