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A National Punctuation Day Contest
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Good Stuff: 8/29/08
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Contest FAIL
Monday, September 29, 2008   6:44 AM

There were no entries, obviously... I'm still curious to see what someone can pull off, punctuation-wise, so I'll try to do this again next year with a bit more notice and perhaps a better incentive.

Meanwhile I proposed the same contest at my work and did get some entries, but they all had either too many periods or too many commas and so were all disqualified. I'm not sure if that's better than nothing...

(Isn't the snowclone [X] FAIL odd? Are nouns really the only "grammatical" inputs for [X]?)


I find the X FAIL snowclone weird. I thought it was for typos or silly mistakes, but the blog you link to uses it for unintentionally funny things that no one can fix, like town names.

I thought of your contest the other day while reviewing resumes (for a writing job, no less). One applicant wrote a six-line long sentence that included parentheses, a colon, AND a semi-colon. Can you really do that (use a colon and a semi-colon in a sentence)? I suppose you can so maybe the question is really SHOULD you?

oh, I guess that should have been six line-long, not six-line long.

posted by Anonymous mighty red pen at October 30, 2008 7:01 PM  

I suppose that John is my oldest friend... Of course that's "v kavychkakh" [inside quotation marks] as the Russians (!) say; I would hadly call him a real friend - still, when the chips are down he does often come through. But I sometimes wonder: is it better to be lost than saved by someone such as he?

Colons and semi-colons in one sentence would be acceptable (I reckon) if the colon were introducing a list and the semi-colons were separating the items in the list.

"The basket contained: cheese, melting slowly; ham, sliced thinly; and eggs, hard-boiled."

Oh, of course, JD, you're totally right. I might have seen something like a semi-colon followed by a colon ... it seemed legit. Scary, but legit.

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