Today, September 24, is National Punctuation Day. I remember those nuns teaching punctuation rules, over and over. Much of it stuck. Just because we text and email now doesn’t mean we can throw good punctuation out the window with the typewriter.
I’m a stickler for good punctuation (thank you, Nuns), but that doesn’t mean I always get it right. I’ve read many books lately, both indie and from major publishers, with punctuation errors, mostly comma errors. One thing that really bothers me is when there isn’t a comma before a person’s proper name: as in, “Hi Mary.” There needs to be a comma before Mary. I’ve been seeing this a lot. And I don't like it.
I scoured the internet for examples of how punctuation can change the meaning of a sentence. Here are some humorous ones.
This first one is correct:
I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart. I can be forever happy–will you let me be yours?
This is what happens to the same statement when it’s not punctuated correctly:
I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we’re apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be?
Woman without her man is nothing.
Woman, without her, man is nothing.
Let’s eat Grandpa.
Let’s eat, Grandpa.
All those out there who like to cook and eat my wife made a new blog.
All those out there who like to cook and eat, my wife made a new blog.
Can you figure out where the commas go in this one?
Attention: Toilet only for disabled elderly pregnant children.
This magazine cover with Rachel Ray says it all.
Or this one:
See how a comma can change these two below?
Most of the time, travelers worry about their luggage.
Most of the time travelers worry about their luggage.
Are there any punctuation errors that bother you? I’d love to hear them.
New Release, from the Amazon bestselling Season series, now available for pre-order.
Season of Promises Holiday Box Set.
My contribution is Bad Luck Partners. I can’t promise there aren’t any punctuation errors, but I worked hard to be sure it’s punctuated correctly.
Bad Luck Partners:
In Sin City, a couple unlucky in love gamble on each other. Win or lose?
Holidays have never brought Las Vegas hotel concierge Laney Sikora anything but bad luck in the romance department. The worst was her fiancé dumping her on Valentine’s Day. Via text. She’s determined to spend New Year's Eve alone with no romantic entanglements. But when her hunky new neighbor locks himself out of his apartment, she can’t leave him standing in the hallway. What's a girl to do?
Las Vegas is just a pit stop for Chicago native and radio personality Chance Carlisle while he waits for his agent to land him something bigger in L.A. But in the meantime, he keeps bumping into—literally—his adorable, but accident-prone, neighbor. Their private New Year’s Eve celebration leads to a plan: they’ll become the Bad Luck Partners, dating only on holidays and special events, avoiding holiday heartbreaks and matchmaking mamas.
But Fate might have something else in mind for the klutzy cutie and the hotshot talk show host. Can their temporary partnership become a forever deal?