Today (9/24/10) is National Punctuation Day! Time to party it up! Here are some ways to get maximum enjoyment out of N.P.D. (I was going to say “maximum fun-age”, but that seemed to be an egregious error on N.P.D.)

1. Make a toast to N.P.D. with a 1:00 Sunrise (correct use of our friend the colon), an Alberto’s Magic Elixir(great use of the apostrophe, because the Magic Elixir belongs to Alberto), or a Double-O-Seven (way to go, Mr. Dash!) (Note that you are solely responsible if you choose to substitute “and” for “or”.)

2. Party on down with your friends hyphen, semi-colon, and ellipsis at the National Punctuation Day website here. You can even send in your best punctuation haiku by September 30th, and they have a recipe for punctuation meatloaf! AWESOME.

3. Dress like your favorite punctuation mark. I heard the hash symbol is big this year. (If anyone can tell me why a Google search for “punctuation costumes” turned up pictures of executioner costumes and Zac Efron, I’d love to know.)

Or just make a punctuation…um, fashion statement:
The “Comma Sutra” t-shirt

4. Even during a celebration such as NPD, it is important to take a moment to pause and reflect on the use of unnecessary quotation marks at It is sad, but it happens. Do your part to rid the world of this plague.

5. Get all cultured and learn how to say “comma”, “period”, and “dash” in other languages. You’ll totally impress your friends (and potential mates). Nothing says “Hey baby, you lookin’ good” like “Accolades!” and “Un trait d’union!” (Note the use of “you” instead of “you’re” was intentional. I want to avoid getting grammar hate mail.)


And here’s how to say “punctuation” in a multitude of languages! Holy cow, look at this.

6. Learn about the new punctuation marks on the block, like the “sarcasm mark”! Coming soon to a snarky email near you. SarcMark

7. You think you’re all tough with your knowledge of punctuation? Take this quiz. I dare you. Have a competition with your friends. (Nerd quotient = 150%.) Question marks, quotation marks, and parentheses quiz And another: Punctuation quiz

8. Make some money from your friends by challenging them to draw a virgule. / Pick your victims wisely. Don’t go asking your English major friends.

9. Visit one of the hallowed Internet homes of punctuation, the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) *The* place to go for “A comprehensive rundown on the proper use of the hyphen”.

10. Get yourself a copy of “Eats, Shoots, and Leaves”. I think authorLynne Truss is the Helen Mirren of punctuation. I’m not sure what that means, but it’s good.

11. Peruse “How to use a semicolon: The most feared punctuation on earth” via The Oatmeal

12. Get to know the Panda Punctuation Joke. This is a good way to pick your friends. If they get it, they’re in. If they stare blankly, toss them a copy of Elements of Style

13. Converse with other punctuation groupies on Facebook: Apostrophe Protection Society and Grammar Girl (also found on Twitter).

14. Watch the classic Dean Martin & Victor Borge “Musical Punctuation” skit. Genius.

Or click here.

15. Watch one more video of the Master of Phoentic Punctuation, Victor Borge. I saw him when he was on tour, and was one of the best shows I have ever seen.

Victor Borge and Phonetic Punctuation

Enjoy your N.P.D.! May the Forces of Correct Punctuation be with you.