Here I was, going blithely about my day, failing to appreciate all the joys the ampersand has brought into my life, giving no heed to the semi-colons, em dashes, and apostrophes that serve as the very foundation of my career.
And then my mom sent me this text: "Happy National Punctuation Day!"
Yes, she knows me.
And now, feeling repentant and properly using commas to set aside this nonrestrictive participial phrase, I would like to pay tribute to punctuation on this hallowed day—a day we should all pause to remember the correct use of the em dash.
After all, where would we be without the question mark? (Or those lovely pairs of parentheses, without which we could not include witty asides.) Enthusiasm would be much more difficult to detect without the exclamation point! Just imagine! And I shudder to think how we could keep lists, compound sententences, and introductory clauses straight without the comma.
Yes, punctuation matters. In fact, it can save lives.
So, what is your favorite punctuation mark?
For me, it is the ampersand, simply because I like saying "ampersand," and I find the form itself quite lovely. Although some might argue, based on a quick visual survey of my writing, that I am fond of the em dash as well—and they could be right.
I'm not afraid to admit that I'm fond of punctuation in general. My good friend Jenny has a typographic, letterpress poster of the Salt Lake Temple in her home, and I have been coveting it for years.
It combines so many things I love into one piece of art. (However, I think it is no longer available for purchase. At least I have it saved on Pinterest.)
And the Most Important Further Reading:
My Grammar Manifesto
Every time I blog about grammar or punctuation, I feel the need to clarify that, should you choose to leave a comment, I will NOT secretly judge you, feel the itch to edit your comment, or publicly critique your comment. This is a judgment-free zone!
p.s. Today is the last day to register for my Quizapalooza workshop, which is underway now. We're having a blast inside our online classroom! So if you've been thinking about it, think no longer.