Punctuation marks are important because they are particularly useful in giving a written language clarity and comprehension. One wrong punctuation mark in a sentence or paragraph can give it a different meaning. With this, did you know that there is an annual holiday being celebrated especially for punctuation marks?
National Punctuation Day is an annual celebration of punctuation marks. It is being observed every 24th of September, and is celebrated in the United States of America. This holiday is founded by Jeff Rubin with the purpose of promoting the correct usage of punctuation marks such as periods, commas, semicolons, and more that we use in writing. The year 2018 marked the 15th year anniversary of Punctuation Day and it has been celebrated around the world.
Jeff Rubin is a reporter and newsletter editor, and he founded National Punctuation Day on September 24, 2004. He decided to create this holiday after his frustration with the punctuation errors he noticed every day. Being a reporter and a newsletter editor made him very sensitive to these errors. With this, he was motivated to make a holiday inclined to provide punctuation awareness.
Rubin encourages appreciators of correct punctuation and grammar to celebrate this day by sending in pictures of punctuation errors spotted in their everyday lives. It can be by identifying errors on punctuation in business signs or mistakes in the daily newspaper. It can also be by writing your own error-free letters to anyone. Aside from identifying errors on punctuation marks, you can also find all the places that grammar isn’t used properly and make a polite note on how to correct them.
National Punctuation Day is recognized nationally by the United States media. It is celebrated by people of all ages. Some schools, universities, organizations, and more are contributing to the awareness of the national day. Here are some of them:
- Jeff Rubin, founder of National Punctuation Day, sends out a challenge every year.
- Auburn Elementary School of Auburn in Michigan celebrates National Punctuation Day every year.
- The company called FontFeed celebrates the National Punctuation Day by reviving the punctuation interrobang (‽ or !?). It is a non-standard punctuation mark which is used in many various written languages. It intended to combine the question mark or interrogative point with an exclamation mark or exclamation point. The Interrobang is known in the jargon of printers and programmers as “bang.”
- StudioSTL of St. Louis in Missouri, a non-profit institution, aims to develop writing skills in youth from ages 6-18. They promote National Punctuation Day by holding an annual happy-hour fundraiser. The event raises money allocated for their free writing programs and raises awareness for the importance of correct punctuations.
- A game called Scribblenauts Unmasked was released during the Punctuation Day in Europe and in North America. It is a puzzle game about writing and was released as computer version only.
In the present time, it seems that the knowledge about correct spelling and grammar has been lost because of the auto-correct technology that has been dominating digital devices. With this, celebrating National Punctuation Day is indeed helpful in making people aware and conscious about the correct usage of punctuation marks in writing.