A few thoughts on National Punctuation Day

On the occasion of National Punctuation Day, I offer a few tips on the use of this part of our language:

  • Commas have many uses, but they are especially handy in making sure compound sentences don’t run on and on.
  • I’m fine with semicolons; they can be useful on occasion.
  • Ellipses can … wonder what … left out. Use … sparingly.
  • You get one exclamation mark per year. Use it wisely!
  • The period is powerful. The end.

One Comment

  1. Dick Elam, a now-revered, then-reviled professor in the RTVMP department at UNC, taught me that the exclamation mark should be saved for only one occasion: the second coming of Jesus Christ. And then, only if you are writing about in the past tense.

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