Happy National Punctuation Day!

National Punctuation Day, News, The New Yorker

Are you punctuating things today? If not, you're a sorry excuse for an American because today, friends and patriots, is the ninth annual National Punctuation Day. That means something to some of us. People celebrate this most illustrious of fake holidays in many ways. Some create painfully awkward rap songs or bake meatloaf shaped like a semicolon. Others gather photos of poorly punctuated signs (hilarity ensues). And still others participate in The New Yorker's challenge that invites readers to Tweet a new punctuation mark created by combining two or more existing marks. What?!

You can see all the entries by searching for #tnyquestion. There are a few gems including @opheliacat's Shadenfreude mark :(: and @someothercraig's Copywrong mark <©> to indicate unoriginal content. Did you enter? If so, share your mash-up mark in the comments. We'd love to check it out.

Last year, the organizers of NPD asked people to write a single paragraph featuring thirteen punctuation marks. Here's the winning entry from 2011 written by Sean Bradley of Dubuque, Iowa:

He said (to me): “Hey, Punk! You waitin’ for me to come over there and give you a lesson in good [expletive deleted] grammar?” I paused; my heart raced rat-a-tat-tat, but my voice – it just couldn’t find itself. Then, suddenly …

If you're not too busy rapping about periods or molding meatloaf into question marks, celebrate this special day by taking a crack at writing one paragraph using all thirteen marks: an apostrophe, brackets, colon, comma, dash, ellipsis, exclamation point, hyphen, parentheses, period, question mark, quotation mark, and semicolon. Share your masterpiece in the comments. It'll be fun. No, really, it will.

Kimberly Turner

News by Kimberly Turner

Kimberly Turner is an internet entrepreneur, DJ, editor, beekeeper, linguist, traveler, and writer. This either makes her exceptionally well-rounded or slightly crazy; it’s hard to say which. She spent a decade as a journalist and magazine editor in Australia and the U.S. and is now working (very, very slowly) on her first novel. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics and lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, two cats, ten fish, and roughly 60,000 bees.

To leave a comment Login with Facebook or create a free account.


James Storie's picture
James Storie from Alabama is reading The Fireman September 24, 2012 - 10:33am

Is it sad now that I want to have a question mark meatloaf?

Raymond Adkins's picture
Raymond Adkins September 24, 2012 - 11:31am

I'm glad we stopped the headline image before we got to, "Stop clubbing baby, seals."