Thursday, September 24, 2009

word nerds unite!

When I was in elementary school, the teachers would write sentences on the chalkboard* and then we were supposed to copy them onto paper, making corrections as we went. The intent was for us to learn basic rules of capitalization, punctuation, etc. and I usually did pretty well. For some reason, punctuation came easily to me - as did spelling. I never really continued to study it, so there is an extremely high probability that I am doing it all wrong now, but back then I was pretty good. (As Larry David would say "pretty good. Preeetty good. Pretttty, prettty, prettttty good.")

As a result of that, punctuation is one of those things that just 'gets to me.' After reading "Eats, Shoots & Leaves" I realized that I am not alone! That I am not a single curmudgeon, cringing every time I see "apple's for sale" on a sign or "your" used where "you're" should be. In fact, there are enough of us crabby apples to bake a pie - or at least start an unofficial holiday!

Today is National Punctuation Day! Hooray! The official web site has some good tips on how to use commonly mis-used punctuation marks, if you need help or just want to read them again to add to your smug sense of self-satisfaction. *ahem*

*For any young people reading: those amusing sidewalk chalks that you love so well? They used to make them in thinner forms (about the circumference of a pencil) and teachers would use them to write upon special "chalk boards" that were mounted to the walls in the classroom. Sort of like your dry-erase boards of today (although these are probably being phased out in lieu of some newfangled projector screens).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

They still use the white boards - makes a good surface to mount the smart board tools that let you manipulate the image you project from your laptop onto said white board.

Not kidding. It's totally cool.

And I'm totally with you on the punctuation thing - except for "its": the only possessive in the English language that *doesn't* have an apostrophe before the "s." Why? Why does the contraction get the apostrophe and not the possessive?

Well, OK, now that I think about it, I guess "yours", "ours", "hers" etc are like that too and they've never given me trouble. For some reason only "its" bugs me.

- Kim ('cause OpenID isn't cooperating today)


Blog Widget by LinkWithin