Happy National Punctuation Day!

Writing Tips

Happy National Punctuation Day from Mainstay Editorial Services

It’s National Punctuation Day!

What? You didn’t know such a day existed? Well, it does, and it is celebrated every year on September 24. In 2004, Jeff Rubin, a newsletter publisher and former reporter, founded the day because of his frustration over punctuation errors he spotted in newspapers.

In honor of the day, here are a few quirky punctuation facts:

  1. Before the printed word, punctuation didn’t exist. Voice tone and visual gestures were used in oral communication to clarify the meaning of the speaker’s words.
  2. The ampersand (&) was once considered the 27th letter of the alphabet.
  3. We know # as a number symbol, the pound sign or, thanks to social media, a hashtag. Actually, this symbol has an official name. It is called the octothorpe. Octo refers to the eight points in the symbol.
  4. Although the exclamation mark has been used for centuries, it did not get a key on the typewriter until the 1970s. Before that, you had to type a period. Then, you had to backspace and type an apostrophe above the period.
  5. Before the question mark existed, writers would write the word question at the end of their sentence. When that became cumbersome, writers wrote a Q at the end of their sentences to indicate it was a question. This eventually evolved into the symbol we use today.

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