Which began as Punctuation Day
Monday, September 24, 2007
[!] National Punctuation Day, of course.
The official website
is a good general guide to segmental punctuation
(i.e. the punctuation marks
), even if it does come down on the wrong side of the whole Oxford Comma
(I'm staunchly pro. Screw you
, Vampire Weekend
The emoticons and proto-emoticons
are missing from the official website, but they're informal and they don't really require usage explanations. And I can forgive the omission of obscurities like the answermark
, because — face it — no one ever uses them.
(Once, while researching a paper in college, I stumbled upon a book of literary analysis for which the author had invented — god — like seven different punctuation marks. Because, you see, his ideas were too subtle
for our incredible, existent punctuation system. It was all a bit absurd, but today I really wish I remembered the name of that book.)
The absence of the long hyphen (a.k.a. en dash
) is slightly more troubling... I'll
always try to remember you, little buddy.
But enough quibbles — the day is a great idea no matter what minor issues we might have with the website. Today is about punctuation: it's a holiday for prescriptivists and descriptivists alike.
Think reactive, not reactionary