Yes, for the grammatically averse, I’m sorry to inform you that there really is a National Punctuation Day. And yes, punctuation really does matter. If you’re not convinced, read Punctuation Saves Lives.
Of course, the day has its own website (www.nationalpunctuationday.com, in case you had a doubt) and, as it turns out, has its own contest to boot — challenging participants to name and explain which punctuation mark is most presidential:
- The rules: Write one paragraph with a maximum of three sentences using the following 13 punctuation marks to explain which should be “presidential,” and why: apostrophe, brackets, colon, comma, dash, ellipsis, exclamation point, hyphen, parentheses, period, question mark, quotation mark, and semicolon. You may use a punctuation mark more than once, and there is no word limit. Multiple entries are permitted.
Here’s my entry:
Of course, the question mark is the most “presidential” (with 2012 being an election year, using “presidential” as an adjective occurs regularly: in daily newspapers, in cities in which they still exist; on nightly news broadcasts; in widespread, late-breaking Internet posts [whether or not they are factually accurate]… and in every other candidate’s description ) punctuation mark and should be the official punctuation of the President of the United States! Why? It’s simple – every candidate excels at failing to answer any question on the table and has perfected the art of tap dancing around it.
There’s still time to enter (the deadline is September 30th). Submission details can be found at: www.nationalpunctuationday.com.
And don’t forget to celebrate National Punctuation Day on Monday, Sept. 24th!