I swear I’m not making these up. Today is National Punctuation Day. Here’s a couple of my favorite stories showing the importance of punctuation:
Woman Without Man
A professor wrote the following sentence on the board and asked his class to punctuate it:
Woman without her man is nothing.
Half of the class punctuated the sentence in the following way:
Woman: without her, man is nothing.
The other half of the class responded with the following:
Woman, without her man, is nothing.
Care to guess which came from the men and which came from the women?
Here’s an example letter showing two drastically different messages using the exact same words, just different punctuation. First, we have a loving note:
I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart. I can be forever happy–will you let me be yours?
Now we’ll take the same words and change up the punctuation:
I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we’re apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be?
What are some of your favorite punctuation mishaps?