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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Humorous Punctuation Errors

 Today, September 24, is National Punctuation Day. The nuns in my Catholic schools beat us over the heads with punctuation rules, and grammar and spelling, too. Much of it stuck. Because we text and email now doesn’t mean we can throw good punctuation out the window with the typewriter.

Despite the nuns’ training, I don’t always get punctuation right, but I try. I’m sorry to say some authors don’t try too hard. I’ve read many books lately, both indie and from major publishers, with glaring 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.” Correct punctuation is “Hi, Mary.” I’ve been seeing this a lot.

Punctuation can change the meaning of a sentence. I scoured the internet for examples of how punctuation can change meanings. Here are some humorous ones.

This first one is correct:

Dear John:
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:

Dear John,
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?

More examples:
 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:

Hunters please use caution when hunting pedestrians using walk trails.

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 Releases, now available for pre-order on Amazon, iBooks, and Kobo.
I’ve got a new series, Gambling on Love, and all three stories are available for pre-order, release date for all, October 15. I’ve tried very hard to avoid punctuation errors. Don’t be too hard on me if you find some.

Wedded in Vegas:
A reluctant bride
A hot Hollywood actor
What happens in Vegas…

Bartending in Las Vegas is the means to an end for Analisa Barbero. As soon as she finishes school she can get her dream job as a teacher. With her hard-working single mom temporarily disabled, money is tight and the hours are long. Who has time for dating? But when a sexy nerd asks her out, Analisa does what everyone else in Las Vegas does: she takes a chance and says yes.
Some people come to Sin City to gamble. Some come to start over. And some come to hide out. Cole Lassiter is Hollywood’s hottest property. Fed up with phoniness and paparazzi parasites, he just wants to be an ordinary nobody for a while. But when his deception causes a pretty bartender to lose her job, he makes her the kind of offer that can only happen in the city of make-believe: Marry him for one year in exchange for a house, money, and all-expenses-paid tuition for school. If she agrees, maybe the tabloids will finally give him a break.
Neither Analisa nor Cole thought love was in the cards for them. But what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. Is Analisa willing to gamble her future on a man who already deceived her once? Everyone in Las Vegas knows one thing: You have to roll the dice if you want to hit the jackpot. And love is worth the risk.

Love by Chance:
 An accident-prone woman
A hotshot radio star
What happens in Vegas…

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 fianc√© 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?

A Very Vegas Christmas:
An overworked event planner
A man with a secret
What happens in Vegas…

A Las Vegas event planner in need of luck meets a mysterious guy who might be her winning ticket. Will his secret split them apart?

Can things get any worse for Las Vegas event planner Amanda Moreau? Her boyfriend dumped her for a stripper; she’s arranging a Christmas wedding for a Bridezilla; and her mother is playing matchmaker from 2000 miles away. When she meets hunky and ever-so-sweet Erik, who’s in town for a conference, she begins to hope her luck is changing. But Erik has a secret that threatens to split them apart.


Melissa Keir said...

Such a fun post. I love the covers for your Vegas books! You've been busy!!

Cara Marsi said...

Thanks, Melissa!

R. Ann Siracusa said...

I loved your blog about punctuation. I, also, come from the old school which taught punctuation. I tend to over-punctuate, rather than leave it up to the reader to figure out. The trend today seems to be less-is-more (where the more = confusing).Ann

Cara Marsi said...

Thanks, Ann.I think you're right about the less-is-more philosophy. Years ago I heard editors don't like commas. I believe that led a lot of authors to not use commas.

Vicki Batman, sassy writer of sexy and funny fiction, blogger at Handbags, Books...Whatever said...

Hi, Cara! I love good punctuation. Leaving out commas after introductory clauses drives me crazy. Commas give the reader a tiny rest. Nothing wrong with that.

Paris said...

Great post! I think I remember when commas became taboo with editors. When e-readers came out, the punctuation was very hard to read, so I think they adopted a less is better philosophy. Your Vegas books look wonderful!

Cara Marsi said...

Thanks, Vicki. Leaving out commas after introductory clauses drives me crazy too.

Thanks, Paris. I think some of the problem with poor punctuation is all the texting and emails we do now.

Janice Seagraves said...

Great post. What bothers me most is misspelled words.

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