Thursday, March 4, 2010
It's National Grammar Day--which is like Christmas to those of us who think about words for a living. Okay, not really. But all of us in the editorial department get a special little thrill out of all things grammar- and punctuation-related.
I asked a few of my colleagues to share what they love about grammar or punctuation...
Michael: I probably have 10 grammar guides at home; I used to read the dictionary for fun in 4th and 5th grade (loving the punctuation guide and discovering something called the subjunctive!! "If he were going home this afternoon, . . ."); and I had an uncle who said he had a semi-colon because of his appendectomy.
Julie: I love the exclamation point! The rules say to limit their usage, but it is hard for me to do so. In my perfect world, everything would be said with excitement and enthusiasm.
Christianne: I love the period. It’s so final and so basic. However, I can make a pretty good case for the comma. It offers a nice pause, but nothing overly dramatic. It’s an understated mark that people often overuse and underuse. But when used correctly, it gives the nicest little break in any sentence.
Ali: Probably commas in compound sentences. Which is super nerdy. Or hyphens between compound adjectives. On another note, things that are incorrectly hyphenated are my biggest pet peeve.
And mine? Well, I harbor a not-so-secret love for the look of a diagrammed sentence (I never learned to diagram sentences in school, so my adoration of them wasn't spoiled); I was a two-time winner of the Onamia Elementary spelling bee (the trophy pictured here is my participant trophy from the regional bee, during which I didn't make it to the second round); I married a guy who used to copyedit for a living; and my favorite punctuation mark is, of course, the semicolon.
What about you?