NATIONAL PUNCTUATION DAY

tl-9-24-national-punctuation-dayhttp://www.nationalpunctuationday.com/

Make sure you click on this link because they are having a writing contest and it looks like a lot of fun!

Wouldnt the written word be frustrating to read without its punctuation?  Its making me crazy to write without it too.

Today we celebrate those little marks that make all the difference in how we interpret what we read:

For example, if you read

Let’s eat grandma

It has a completely different meaning than

Let’s eat, grandma.

That little comma lets us know that we are not going to eat grandma after all.  Whew!

We’re going to learn to cut and paste kids.

That’s a little scary – it sounds much better to say,

We’re going to learn to cut and paste, kids.

How about this one…

I enjoy cooking my family and my pets.

That makes me say, “Oh, really?”

This is much better and less like a psycho:

I enjoy cooking, my family, and my pets.

Here’s an unfortunate advertisement from Goodwill:

Your donation helps someone.  Get a job.

Wow…  really?  Let’s try this again:

Your donation helps someone get a job.

Yeah – now that encourages us to give!

Punctuation and spelling matter.  Writing is a form of communication, and if we want the meaning of our words to be understood as we intend, we need to be careful.  Punctuation is like the traffic lights and stop signs for words.  A comma means you pause – it’s like a yellow light in the intersection.   A semi-colon means you pause for a longer time.  A period means you come to a complete stop.

When you see…

It means there’s more to the thought than is revealed.  Most of the time the rest of the thought is something that is fairly obvious.  It would be rude to use …  otherwise.  Am I right???

The question mark – it means we are to ponder a question.  Whether the question is easily answered or not, we are still to respect the question mark by pondering the question.

I use dashes once in a while, which is basically like using a semi-colon.  A colon is usually used before a list having to do with the subject mentioned.  An example would be:

  • This
  • That

This and that.

Punctuation is important!  The exclamation point is used to emphasize the subject.  Punctuation is not only crucial for those of us who write, but for those of us who are expected to read what we write.  People appreciate a relatively flawless flow of words with punctuation used correctly.

The most debated part of punctuation is THE OXFORD COMMA.  I don’t always use it, but I definitely understand why it’s used.

I had eggs, toast and orange juice.

So…  is the orange juice poured all over the toast???  Ugh…

Maybe usage of the Oxford comma would clarify things a bit.

I had eggs, toast, and orange juice.

The Oxford comma remains in my punctuation tool box.

Have a great National Punctuation Day…  ,  ;  :  !  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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HAIKU DAY

TL 4-17 HAIKU DAYWhat’s the difference between a Haiku and other poetry?  Here’s the recipe for a Haiku:

The Haiku is a Japanese verse in three lines.  It does not have to rhyme, and in fact should not rhyme, but it is considered a mood poem, so the words you choose should be chosen very carefully, and invoke emotion in the reader – laughter, tears, a sense of compassion, a sense of fear, a sense of accomplishment or a sense of hope and encouragement.  It doesn’t use any metaphors or similes.  Usually when Haiku is taught, the students are told to restrict the number of lines and syllables.  Punctuation and capitalization rules are up to the poet, and need not follow rigid rules used in structuring sentences.

Basic guidelines for beginners (like me – holding my hand up really high!):

  1. Line one has 5 syllables
  2. Line two has 7 syllables
  3. Line three has 5 syllables

A Haiku makes me think of the Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment called feng shui.  It’s a popular tool used in all sorts of design and staging of new homes for public view.  It’s all about balance and literally translates as “wind-water” in English.

But back to Haiku…  Lucinda has written some thought-provoking poetry for this blog.  I love Haiku just like I love to hear a short sermon at church that is really good.  A good Haiku will speak to you with these few words, just as a nice short sermon can get to the point and leave a lasting impression on the listener.

SUNFLOWERS HAIKUSUMMERTIME SWING HAIKUDOG HAIKUBLUE HAIKUBABY HAIKUCLOUDS HAIKUDESSERT HAIKUA woman’s reward…  OH I like that!  😉

Lucinda reminded me that there is a SAD side to Haiku…

13022332_1748745145369948_747312919_nOh…  some of us know about chronic illness.  Jus’ sayin’.  :-/