Did you ever think about how a simple punctuation mistake such as “I’m sorry I love you” (as opposed to “I’m sorry; I love you”) can impact the rest of your life? To bring attention to the importance of proper punctuation ― and to help people avoid life-altering mistakes ― newsletter writer Jeff Rubin created National Punctuation Day in 2004. Because correct punctuation is a part of our everyday professional and personal lives, we at Fort Lauderdale and Aspen-based public relations agency Durée & Company are pleased to share what this holiday really means.
Created to help strengthen the punctuation lessons we learned in elementary school, reinforce their use and demonstrate how critical it is to use proper punctuation to convey what you really mean, National Punctuation Day is quite important.
In honor of this day, we’re happy to share the most common punctuation mistakes, so you can try to avoid them (and some really awkward situations). Here are the top three:
- Possessive vs. plural: Oh, the dreaded “Open Sunday’s” or “We offer the best haircut’s in town”! It’s enough to drive half of your business away. Here are some simple guidelines:
- Possessive means ownership. This means that you should be inserting an apostrophe before the “s.” An example is “The girl’s doll.”
- Plural means more than one. This requires adding an “s” ― no apostrophe needed ― at the end of most words. An example is “The girls love to play together.”
- Comma placement: It’s easy to use too many or too few commas. Here are some rules of thumb:
- Insert a comma after an introductory clause. For example, “After he finishes eating, Jeff will clean off the table” instead of “After he finishes eating Jeff will clean off the table.” Ick!
- Avoid the comma splice to join two independent clauses. Instead, split the sentence up or insert a coordinating conjunction. As an example, “The sun was bright, and the air was fresh” instead of “The sun was bright, the air was fresh.”
- Release yourself from the run-on sentence, because your readers will become disinterested in what you’re saying, while they go and get something to eat, and start looking at their phone, and you should have just broken the sentence up in the first place. Use periods. It’s OK to break up a sentence.
- Subject/predicate agreement: Your subject will decide if something is singular or plural. This affects which predicate has to follow. For example, “The restaurant celebrated its 50th anniversary” as opposed to “The restaurant celebrated their 50th” The restaurant is singular, so it’s an “it,” not a “their.”
Each and every day at D&Co, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our clients are properly represented. This includes using correct punctuation in press releases, pitch letters, blogs and more. Good punctuation and grammar is imperative at D&Co. Why? Well, we are grammar nerds; but also, journalists respect PR firms who use good grammar and punctuation.
Did you know that National Punctuation Day takes place during “Be Kind to Writers & Editors Month”? Yes, their jobs are hard ― especially when it comes to punctuation. If you know a writer or editor, thank him or her.
For us at D&Co, National Punctuation Day is important to acknowledge! Do you want to know more about our services or how we love correct punctuation? Contact us at our Fort Lauderdale office at 954.723.9350, our Aspen office at 970.452.2195, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Durée & Company
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm founded in 1999. The firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Aspen, Colorado. Durée & Company serves the corporate, agency and nonprofit arenas for local, national and international clients. Services include public relations, social media, marketing, content development, advertising, special events, branding, radio promotions and more. Durée & Company clients include well-known names in marine & yacht, business, fashion, hospitality, travel, wellness and CBD, art and culture, nonprofit organizations, legal and professional services and real estate. Durée & Company is a member of PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI), an international network of boutique PR firms. To learn more, go to https://dureeandcompany.com/, visit Durée & Company on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DureeCoPR/, Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/dureecopr Twitter at https://twitter.com/dureecopr or YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/DureeAndCompany, or call 954-723-9350.