Friday Timewaster: What Punctuation Mark Are You?

Two items that are somewhat in honor of National Grammar Day, which was March 4 . . . but mostly are in honor of the fact that I'm still half asleep and thus unable to do anything more than copy and paste.

What Punctuation Mark Are You?

You Are a Dash

Your life is fast paced and varied. You are realistic, down to earth, and very honest. You're often busy doing something interesting, and what you do changes quickly.

You have many facets to your personality, and you connect them together well. You have a ton of interests. While some of them are a bit offbeat, they all tie together well.

You friends rely on you to bring novelty and excitement to their lives. (
And while you're the most interesting person they know, they can't help feeling like they don't know you well.)

You excel in: Anything to do with money

You get along best with: the Exclamation Point

Tip of the Week — Copyediting Newsletter: March 4, 2008

Subject: The Semicolon Appreciation Society

I've lost count now of how many people have sent me the link to the New York Times article on the surprisingly correct use of a semicolon in an ad that appears in New York subway trains. Just in case you're one of the three word lovers on the planet who haven't heard the story, and since I'm not sure how long the link to the NYT story will be live before it goes into the pay-per-download archive, let me summarize it for you.

In early February, an ad that included the following text appeared in New York subway trains (yes, I jotted it down as soon as I saw it—this is why I get funny looks on the subway): "It doesn't matter what you read, its language or viewpoints. Please put it in a trash can; that's good news for everyone."

The use of the semicolon was unusual enough to catch a reporter's attention; the resulting story (published on February 18) was quickly picked up by news outlets across the country.

It also, of course, caught the eye of Copyediting contributor Erin McKean, who decided it was high time to start a Semicolon Appreciation Society. Check out her February 22 posting on her blog, Dictionary Evangelist. She even had some semicolon T-shirts made, available through Café Press (follow the links from her blog). I'm gettin' me some semicolon stickers.

National Grammar Day is Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Danny Marcus (our proofreader) strikes again: he alerted me to the existence of SPOGG (the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar) and its nomination of Tuesday, March 4, as National Grammar Day.

Wendalyn Nichols


  1. You Are a Comma

    You are open minded and extremely optimistic.

    You enjoy almost all facets of life. You can find the good in almost anything.

    You keep yourself busy with tons of friends, activities, and interests.
    You find it hard to turn down an opportunity, even if you are pressed for time.

    Your friends find you fascinating, charming, and easy to talk to.
    (But with so many competing interests, you friends do feel like you hardly have time for them.)

    You excel in: Inspiring people

    You get along best with: The Question Mark

  2. I'm a colon. Too much bran, I guess.