Monday, September 24, 2012

Celebrate the exclamation mark!

                                       Happy National Punctuation Day!
                                                   by Trina Boice


Did you know that September 24th has officially been declared as a celebration of the lowly comma, correctly used quotation marks, and other proper uses of periods, semicolons, and the ever-mysterious ellipsis?  Well, now you do, so let the party begin!#$?!  

Our words, both spoken and verbal, really affect our brand and how others perceive us.

The ninth annual National Punctuation Day®, the September 24 holiday that reminds America that a semicolon is not a surgical procedure, will celebrate the 2012 presidential election with a literary challenge — vote for your favorite Presidential Punctuation Mark in one, highly punctuated paragraph!

The rules: Write one paragraph with a maximum of three sentences using the following 13 punctuation marks to explain which should be “presidential,” and why: apostrophe, brackets, colon, comma, dash, ellipsis, exclamation point, hyphen, parentheses, period, question mark, quotation mark, and semicolon. You may use a punctuation mark more than once, and there is no word limit. Multiple entries are permitted.

In short, persuade them that your favorite punctuation mark should be the official punctuation mark of the President of the United States.  Contest entries must be received by September 30 to be considered for prizes. The winner(s) will receive a box of punctuation goodies, including a National Punctuation Day® T-shirt. Send entries, including name, address and phone number, to National Punctuation Day® headquarters at

In 2011, 220 entries in their paragraph contest were received from the United States, the Netherlands, Malta, Canada, England, and India.  In 2010, 356 people from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Italy (in Italian!) submitted more than 3,000 entries in our haiku contest, including 73 from a certain New York State employee who shall remain nameless.  

                            Have a great punctuation day!

Trina Boice