It’s National Grammar Day – no, really.

But right now, we’ll have some fun.

Many of the most common errors fall into the same few baskets: misuse of punctuation, wrong words, incorrect usage.

Let’s start with punctuation. Keep this ever in mind: the purpose of punctuation is to convey in the written document what we convey in spoken communication with tone of voice, even facial expressions. Most you know: exclamation mark denotes surprise; a single long dash at sentence end means an abrupt interruption, while an ellipsis (three dots) denotes that the speaker’s thought is trailing off to nothing. If you’re ever worried about commas, for instance, read the sentence out loud to yourself. Try this one: Let’s eat, Aunt Mary said. Without the comma, on a quick read you would think cannibalism. And that’s the other purpose of punctuation: to keep readers from stumbling, having to go back and reread. 

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