It’s… Punctuation Day?!

Happy? Punctuation Day! Here’s fives way punctuation is changing.

Happy? Punctuation Day! It’s time for Copywriting to unite as we unleash the underused semi colon, be unashamed of a triple threat exclamation mark and bring back the pilcrow. Why? Today, of all days, is National Punctuation Day that occurs each year on September 24.

We all know someone who is a punctuation stickler. They are the person banging on about their, they’re and there; how us idiots are “misusing quotation marks;” the inappropriateness of four dot ellipses.

Humble (or aggravated) beginnings, depending how you look at it

Unlike most “national holidays” this one actually has an origin story. It all started with Jeff Rubin, a former reporter, who grew increasingly frustrated each time he spotted errors in the newspaper.

“I would sit at the kitchen table with my red Sharpie … screaming obscenities, which would upset my wife,” Rubin told CNN in a 2016 interview. “She encouraged me to find another outlet for my aggravation.”

Struck with inspiration, he contacted the Chase’s Calendar of Events reference book and secured a listing for National Punctuation Day.

The world of punctuation is changing, however

Does punctuation really matter if it gets the point across? While we use this day to celebrate “the importance of proper pronunciation,” the proper among us used to spell today as to-day and used a backward question mark to end a rhetorical question. Whether traditionalists like it or not, here a few modern examples of how punctuation is changing.

Emojis as punctuation

Don’t you hate having to use a ! to express politeness in an email? It’s easier (and less weird) to use a . Emojis are being used to provide clues around how words should be interpreted. It’s particularly useful for short-form social media platforms, helping your audience understand quickly whether you’re  ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) or (¬‿¬) or ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Kill the apostrophe movement

According to Brandwatch, the top five grammatical errors on Twitter were: im, wont, cant, don’t and id. Meanwhile big corporations, such as Starbucks, Folgers and Waterstones, are sans apostrophe or have recently ditched the minute mark. The Kill the Apostrophe website believes that their redundant, snobby, wasteful, distracting and don’t really make a difference to semantics.

Hyphens are getting chucked out the window

As we said earlier, today was once to-day, proving that hyphen retirement party is nothing new. These days, the hyphen toss is happening faster. Take every word with an “e” in front of it, for example. The migration to email, ecommerce and ebook was swift and not unexpected in today’s technological environment.

We can only imagine what technology is going to do punctuation between now and next year’s Punctuation Day. In the meantime, answer us this: What’s your punctuation gripe? Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #nationalpunctuationday. Or better yet, engage in our copywriting services or website design. We do good words and make meaningful web design! Give us a call on 07 3844 0577 today.



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