A Humorous Look at The Importance of Punctuation

Punctuation is importantPunctuation 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 using native English proofreading services before publishing your work is so important.

Not convinced?

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?

Dear John:

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 it is punctuated in an entirely different fashion?

Dear John,

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?

Want a good laugh? Take a look at our guide to the importance of proofreading.

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 Whom?

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

Missing comma changes Grandpa's life

5)  His Wife’s Life Depends Upon It

Example of punctuation error on Twitter

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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27 thoughts on “A Humorous Look at The Importance of Punctuation”

  1. I would have gone with the following.
    “This session is designed for government, private sector and civil society leaders, interested in how to effectively mainstream entrepreneurship into national education curricula, from the initial
    stage of lobbying governments, to writing policy, to designing the final
    curriculum to be integrated, to continuous assessment at each stage of the

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