HOW TO AVOID EATING GRANDMA! (Punctuation saves lives)
In today’s world of text speak, blogging and one line emails, is punctuation still important? Is it an unnecessary complication to our already complicated lives? Should children still be taught to punctuate correctly? In a few short years, the rise in technology has meant that almost all children in the Western World now use a computer of some kind. Why do they need to bother with punctuation when said computer can do it for them?
The answer is, that although the spell check is an amazing tool, it isn’t human, it can’t know for sure what you mean. Let’s be honest, punctuation, or lack of it can make you look like an idiot! You may not be an idiot, but even in our technological age you can still be judged by errors in your written word.
There are certain areas like Twitter where for the sake of brevity, some punctuation has to be sacrificed. There is some punctuation that could be construed as subjective. But one of the (in my opinion) most important punctuation marks, and the one that can make the biggest difference to a sentence, is the humble comma.
Apart from the picture below, here are a few gaffs made by people who should probably know better:
On the cover of a certain magazine for animal lovers – “Rachel finds inspiration in cooking her family and her dogs.”
A well-known actor, on winning an award, wrote: “I couldn’t have done this without my parents God and Jesus.”
A well-known blogger – “all those out there who like to cook and eat my wife just made a new blog.”
Lastly, imagine this sentence punctuated in two different ways:
Woman, without her man is nothing. Or
Woman, without her, man is nothing.
I’m sure I don’t have to point out what is wrong, or right about all the above, they are all easy mistakes to make, and I’m sure we have all made them. It may be an error, or you may not really know which is correct. But if it is wrong, people will assume the latter.
Lastly, I can’t end without mentioning the most misused of all punctuation marks, the apostrophe. Unlike the comma, the apostrophe seems to be universally overused. How many signs have you seen where a redundant apostrophe has been inserted just because the word in question ends in S?
A well-known coffee shop has a sign which reads “Great taste deserves it’s own reward”
A large travel company has four feet high posters announcing “You’re holiday is in safe hands”
A US TV station has a heading to the weather report “High’s today”
I could go on, and you might ask why is this important? Because it’s wrong! That’s why, and it is so important that the youngest generation grows up learning these things as a matter of course.
You may not agree with me, you may think that punctuation is unimportant, but I will leave you with this thought. Punctuation is the difference between ‘knowing your shit and knowing you’re shit’!
Disclaimer: This article has been checked carefully for errors, but the writer accepts no responsibility if any are found!