In the spirit of shared communal togetherness, I will forward the announcement that today, September 24, is, of course, National Punctuation Day, which is why I, your blogger, have chosen to begin today’s entry with as many commas, that is, small punctuation marks, as possible. Be sure to wish your store clerk a “Happy Holiday.”
National Punctuation Day was started in 2004 by sauerkraut sandwich inventor Jeff Rubin for the purpose of improving punctuation use and awareness among Americans who on the whole would rather care about matching towels or whether or not Twinkies are the same. Correct punctuation usage has fallen by the wayside, says Rubin, and since the Republican strategy for dealing with this crisis is to defund Obamacare and the Democratic strategy is to call Republicans racists, Mr. Rubin decided that instead of being Batman’s sidekick, he, himself, would seek to create a day whereon the focus would be entirely hyphenated.
You see, Rubin noticed that there are few things in this world that are scarier than someone to whom you are really close missing her period. And being the forward thinker he is, he thought, “How can I profit from this?” So National Punctuation Day was born in a matter not unlike Kwanzaa or Earth Day, except for all the crazy Marxism. It even has its own website from which you can enter an essay contest or get a recipe to cook the Official Meatloaf of National Punctuation Day (which leaves me no choice but to offer a parenthetical aside).
We used to care about National Punctuation Day. As a child I remember bracketed festivals and parades with Colin Powell as grand marshal and whole communities getting together to create a 100-yard dash. But unfortunately, National Punctuation Day has turned into nothing more than an excuse for young people to slash around in period costumes and drink themselves into a comma. This has certain groups saying that we should stop celebrating National Punctuation Day, period.
But I exclaim, “NO!” We need punctuation, and we need Punctuation Day. Without it we would go around saying things like, “Let’s eat kids” and have road signs that say, “Slow children playing.” I for one consider myself quite punctual and in the spirit of National Punctuation Day have decided to give my colon the day off.
Admittedly, we can go overboard with punctuation. A few years ago, some French guy wrote a book to offer up some new punctuation ideas like the “love point,”
and the “doubt point,”
the two of which are often used together, primarily by teenagers. Needless to say, these ideas have taken off like other recent French inventions such as foie gras and the 70% tax rate.
One new form of punctuation that is all the rage right now is the hashtag (#), formerly known as ‘pound’ or ‘number sign’ and is more often than not used after the word ‘epic.’ Its purpose is to categorize something you say via postscript in an extremely irritating manner such as, “Hashtags are so epic!” #saidnooneoverforty or “Party last night was epic!” #noideawhatepicmeans.
Maybe in honor of National Punctuation Day, I will invent a new punctuation. I will call it the TIMpoint (ɫ) and it will signify palpable sarcasm, because I have found that those truly gifted with sarcasm have a hard time being obvious enough in its use to avoid or produce offense when either or both are intended.
For example, “Network TV is awesomeɫ”
See how convenient that is? It’s epic.
Or “Thanks for following my blog, random Portuguese shoe manufacturerɫ. I’m sure you will be reading me weekly and I know I will be making purchases from you all the timeɫ. Happy Holiday.”