Exclamations, Questions, and Commas: Favorite Punctation Marks

For National Punctuation Day, The Atlantic Wire collected favorite punctuation marks from famous writers. I’m with NPR book critic Maureen Corrigan, who says:

“The semicolon is my psychological metaphor, my mascot. It’s the punctuation mark that qualifies, hesitates, and ties together ideas and parts of a life that shot off in different directions.”

Man, I am a semicolon fiend. It lets a sentence breathe while still organizing. In a punctuation world of black and white (full stop!), it’s nice to have a punctuation mark that covers some sentence gray area.

I also love the Oxford comma and get upset whenever I hear a certain Vampire Weekend song.

Share your favorites in the comments!

The Personality of a Semicolon

Punctuation mark personality? Yes, please! My favorite is the semicolon, so apparently this is me:

Semi-colon (;): You’re well-read and urbane. You knew where this was on the keyboard before it became part of the winky emoticon. You’re more easy-going than Colon or Period types, but you’re still put together and usually organized. People are comfortable around you and tend to like you, though they may not be able to say exactly why.”

You could also read this as “you have a hard time committing to a real colon.” But I’ll stick with “well-read and urbane.”

Sadly, this list is missing some of the more unusual punctuation marks, but how often can you really use the interrobang, anyway?

Punctuation Fans, Unite!

I’m a punctuation nut. When others argue against the Oxford comma or the semicolon, I get personally offended. So I love this list of 14 punctuation marks you might not have heard of. (If you’re in the writing/editing world, I bet you can pick out at least a couple.)

The Exclamation Comma. Finally, a way for me to express excitement without ending a sentence! The Snark is also wickedly delightful, but I think I’d end up using it too often.

Which punctuation mark is your favorite?