Punctuation is not really that important, right? WRONG! It’s very important, and a tiny, misplaced comma or question mark can cost millions of dollars or break someone’s heart. That’s why proofreading and editing your work before publishing it is so important.
Take a look at some of these great examples of punctuation mistakes. If you didn’t previously recognize the importance of punctuation, you will after seeing these!
1) Dear John Punctuation
The Dear John punctuation example is a very commonly used story about a man who received a beautiful letter from his loved one. In the letter, his girlfriend spelled out, in no uncertain terms, how much she loved and adored John and it was clear to anyone reading her words that she couldn’t live without him. Or could she?
I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart. I can be forever happy–will you let me be yours?
What happens to the letter if there were some punctuation mistakes and it was punctuated in an entirely different fashion?
I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we’re apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be?
Which letter do you think John would prefer to receive?
2) Woman Without Man
A professor wrote the following sentence on the board and asked his class to punctuate it:
Woman without her man is nothing.
Half of the class punctuated the sentence in the following way:
Woman: without her, man is nothing.
The other half of the class responded with the following:
Woman, without her man, is nothing.
It’s clear, from this example, that punctuation is very important indeed!
3) Who’s Supplying Who?
Say ‘NO’ to Drugs from the NMB Police D.A.R.E Officers.
Oops! That one missing comma turned police officers into drug dealers.
4) Your Grandpa’s Life Depends Upon It
5) His Wife’s Life Depends Upon It
So now you should fully understand the importance of punctuation. If you think you could benefit from learning more about punctuation, please see our free punctuation guides.
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