That’s right! It’s National Punctuation Day! Woot! Do you have a favorite punctuation mark? Most editors I know do. Geeky? Maybe. But hey, we can’t help it; we editors just love this kind of thing.
My favorite is the semicolon. See it up there, nestled in the final sentence of the paragraph above? The semicolon conveys so much in one simple, elegant mark. It is kind of like the Little Punctuation Mark that Could. It tells you which things in a list are separate items and which are modifiers. Take this sentence, for example: I love crunchy autumn leaves; red, juicy apples; and giant, glowing jack-o’-lanterns. Without the semicolons in there, you might think that red was one of the things I loved, rather than just a word to describe those tasty apples.
If you do have a favorite punctuation mark, I’d love to hear about it. In the meantime, I’ll be here in my office at Lerner, celebrating the semicolon and sending out wishes to each and every one of you for a very happy National Punctuation Day.