For some people, the holiday season starts with Halloween; for others, it’s Thanksgiving—or the day after—and for a festive few, the party never stops. But for language lovers, it’s National Punctuation Day, “a light-hearted opportunity to teach good punctuation” from founder and former newspaper reporter Jeff Rubin, aka Punctuation Man. (Despite his journalistic background, he endorses the serial comma.)
The seventh-annual punctuation celebration features a haiku contest (e.g., “Punctuation marks: / Commas, colons, periods / That give words meaning”). Hundreds have already entered, and winners will receive—what else?—punctuation prizes. (Visit the website for submission guidelines and other ways to participate.)
The holiday has a punctuation publication, The Exclamation Point, with book recommendations, literacy news from around the world, and articles about Punctuation Playtime, a “program that teaches elementary school students punctuation in a fun and engaging way” from Rubin and his wife, Norma.
There are also the requisite T-shirts, cards, and mugs, but of course the best way to celebrate is to learn the rules of proper punctuation. It’s easier than it sounds, and the National Punctuation Day website has plenty of products and resources to help you do so.