Happy National Punctuation Day!

Yesterday I found myself taking the position that one could not misspell an onomatopoeia. I mean, yes, you can, but you shouldn’t be able to by the very nature of it . . .

So I wasn’t surprised–and, in fact, I was flattered!–when our PR guy sent this to our department:

Subject: I wanted to celebrate today with Pubs

Let’s all take a moment… http://www.nationalpunctuationday.com/

Yes, yes. It’s true! A holiday just for nerds like me! How did this come to be? Writes Lisa Black with the Chicago Tribune: “Jeff Rubin, 59, a former copy editor determined to rid the world of dangling participles, successfully bid for Sept. 24 to be listed as a holiday in Chase’s Calendar of Events in 2004.” I wonder if we are related.

In tribute, our marketing intern shared this fascinating piece of history with us:

Historical punctuation:

Timothy Dexter, one of my favorite people in the world, was an American businessman born in 1748. Through a series of fluke accidents, he became spectacularly wealthy–and magnificently eccentric. At age 50, he wrote a book about himself, called /A Pickle for the Knowing Ones or Plain Truths in a  Homespun Dress/. Dexter was practically illiterate; the book contains 8847 words (33864 letters) but no punctuation. Capital letters appear throughout the book with no discernable pattern. The whole thing looks like something my 14-year-old sister would text to me.

Readers complained the absent punctuation rendered the book unreadable. In response, Dexter included this page in all editions after 1838:

fouder mister printer the Nowing ones complane of my book the fust edition had no stops I put in A Nuf here and thay may peper and solt it as they plese”

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…………………………! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !………………………..

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, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

……………????????????????????????……………

I’m sure today is the sort of thing right after Mr. Dexter’s heart.

Ahhhhh. So good.

Everyone, get out there and hug a semicolon today! Or, even better, an en dash!!!


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