News Punctuation

Published on September 24th, 2014 | by admin


Today Is National Punctuation Day

Today marks the tenth anniversary of National Punctuation Day.

It could be argued that this strive for correct use of punctuation is under threat like never before due to the prevalence and extensive use of social media channels like Twitter altering the way we fundamentally communicate in our everyday lives. This isn’t something we could have envisaged a decade ago when Jeff Rubin first created national Punctuation Day in 2004.

Considering that 500 million Tweets, which must be no more than 140 characters each in length, are sent per day by 271 million monthly active users, it is easy to see how the use of correct punctuation is under threat!

The correct use of punctuation encompasses the use of a wide variety of punctuation marks including the apostrophe, brackets, colon, comma, dash, exclamation mark, full stop, hyphen, question mark, quotation marks and semi-colon. Yet many of these punctuation marks previously recognised as integral to written communication are seemingly being somewhat compromised.

So when we type or put pen to paper, what are the some of the most common punctuation errors you might ask?

  1. It’s vs Its

‘It’s’ is a shortened version of ‘it is’ while ‘its’ with no apostrophe is a possessive pronoun. The two are commonly confused.

  1. You’re vs Your

You’re is a contraction of ‘you are’ whilst ‘your’ should be used to illustrate it belongs to ‘you’.

  1.  Using an apostrophe for a date

Apostrophes are not needed when referencing dates. So it would be correct to say: ‘I was born in the 1970s’ as opposed to: ‘I was born in the 1970’s’.

Simple mistakes like this are common place and it is often entrepreneurs setting up internet businesses that are the culprits. Punctuation errors could be costing millions of pounds in lost online sales as such mistakes can often put off consumers who often question the wider credibility of such websites.

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