Fancy a punctuation challenge? Act quickly on this message!

Comments Off by in General
September 26, 2011

Following on from my last post’s focus on contranyms, I have a question for you? Do you write egregious punctuation? Egregious is another contranym I’ve discovered; it can mean either shockingly bad or amazingly good.

Moving on…If you think you know your semi-colons inside out, have no problems with parentheses and are a dab-hand with a dash, then you could be in with a chance to win a “box of punctuation goodies” courtesy of ‘Punctuation Man’ (AKA Jeff Rubin).

Rubin, a former journalist, was the founder of National Punctuation Day (celebrated 24th Sep) and travels the US teaching school kids how to punctuate properly.

To win the prize, all you have to do is to write a paragraph, no more than three sentences long, featuring all thirteen of the following punctuation marks: apostrophe, brackets, colon, comma, dash, ellipsis, exclamation mark, hyphen, parentheses, full stop (that’s period to US readers!), question mark, quotation mark and semi-colon.

Don’t worry if you need to brush up first – Rubin’s site contains a tutorial on each of the marks you need to use. However, you do need to be quick: the closing date is 30th September. Entries need to be emailed to Jeff at

So good luck, and if you do scoop the prize, please let me know via comment or email.

PS: If you’re planning on writing a list, Jeff is a big-time supporter of the ‘Oxford comma’, i.e, he likes a comma before the ‘and’ at the end of a list.

Image provided under CC SA-3.0 by Historydude69