Wednesday, September 24, 2014

WWW: Make Your (Punctuation) Mark!

Its National Punctuation Day?
It’s National Punctuation Day.

(Of course, only a writer could so enthuse for such a day.)
As writer Russell Baker aptly put it, When speaking aloud, you punctuate constantly – with body language.  Your listener hears commas, dashes, question marks, exclamation points, quotation marks as you shout, whisper, pause, wave your arms, roll your eyes, wrinkle your brow.  In writing, punctuation plays the role of body language.  It helps readers hear the way you want to be heard.

How might I celebrate,”  you ask, “what National Punctuation Day founder Jeff Rubin calls a celebration of the lowly comma, correctly used quotation marks, and other proper uses of periods, semicolons, and the very-mysterious ellipsis?
WellI recommend the following actions: first visit the website Jeff Rubin created; admire each and every pictured punctuation mark and give it its proper due; next take this test to check your command of commas/apostrophes; laugh heartily while you read Lynne Truss’ EATS, SHOOTS & LEAVES (Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference); and finally, consider completing my Wednesday Writing Workout which offers writers a chance to re-purpose the 14 standard marks of punctuation in English grammar to create original emoticons all their own. [See below.]


Esther Hershenhorn
While doing All Things Punctuation, don’t forget to celebrate your inner exclamation mark! J

And for sure, don’t forget to enter our Book Giveaway to win a copy of Barbara Krasner’s picture book biography of Golda Meir - GOLDIE TAKES A STAND: GOLDA MEIR’S FIRST CRUSADE.
The deadline is September 26.

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Those Emotive Punctuation Marks!

I M J 2 B writing about emoticons – punctuation marks RE-purposed to instantly connote an emotion when communicating electronically.

Think:  little sideways smiley faces.  :)

I learned all about them when creating my baby board book TXTNG MAMA TXTNG BABY which just celebrated its first anniversary.

[FYI: it’s now available at Joan Cusick’s JUDY MAXWELL HOME and numerous copies will be raffled off at Northwestern University’s November 1 Community Baby Shower.]
The word “emoticon” blends “emotion” and “icon.”  An emoticon allows for a quick expression of feeling when the communication is electronic.

How might YOU (!) combine and re-arrange any and all of the 14 marks of punctuation  below to create an original emoticon?

 ?    !     .   ,   “ ”   -   _  [  ]   ( )    /  :   ;

Feel free to use keyboard letters, spacing options and numbers too.  Turn them upside down and sideways!
Think outside the []. J


In other words, have fun!

Think, too, of any and all emotions/situations – Joy, Distress, Anger, Confusion, e.g.
If you need inspiration, click here to see more examples.
And be sure to share them with our TeachingAuthors readers so we can use them to help them catch on.


Linda B said...

I didn't know there was a national Punctuation Day-just right for me lately, trying to figure out how to punctuate some of my poems-not easy at all. Thanks, Esther for all the fun links, too!

Carmela Martino said...

What a great post, Esther. I especially love the Russel Baker quote. :-) <3

Patricia A Miller said...

Yay for Punctuation Day! The name of my writing cabin is Pilcrow Place. A pilcrow is the paragraph sign for editing: ¶ :) Thank you for the post, Esther.

jan godown annino said...

Fun post, Esther!

I've long been partial to the ampersand & ever since I found Lynne Truss, I'm a fan.

This post also makes me think of the fella I credit with starting texting "words", decades before digital was out. This would be the creator of the clever picture book that I read to kids as often as I can
CDB!, by incomparable,
William Steig, who I believe lived to age 95.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Oh, Esther! Your posts pull me out of my chair and make me dance.



April Halprin Wayland said...

Oh, Esther! Your posts pull me out of my chair and make me dance.



Esther Hershenhorn said...

I'm now back at my laptop, able to thank Marti, Jan, Linda, April and Patricia for taking the time to comment.
And, thank you, Patricia, for teaching me such a delicious and appropriate word: pilcrow.
I love it! :)