Those who run "rough-shod" over our language - using respectable punctuation marks for their own nefarious purposes - must be found and stopped! Out with their dodgy colons and enough, already, of their superfluous exclamation marks!!!!!Here are my top ten punctuation pet hates:
1. Like the picture says - if you don't use commas when you should, a little old man dies somewhere. Classic example (of errant comma, not little old man dying): here (thanks, Tony!)
2. Errant apostrophes - also known as the Grocer's Apostrophe. Or the Grocers' Apostrophe. Depending on the number of grocers, which is the whole point really. Many fine examples at apostrophecatastrophes.com, but the one pictured (right) was discovered by GrammarBlog.com in the "illustrious" Daily Mail
3. Unnecessary quotation marks - make you sound sarcastic even when you're not. e.g. Nice "blog" Clare. There is also something vaguely nudge-nudge wink-wink about them which implies that what you're saying is a euphemism for something filthy. Go to unnecessaryquotes.com for more examples than you can "shake" a "stick" at.
4. Too many full stops. This might be a personal view - feel free to dash me down in flames - but I think we've gone beyond needing every acronym interspersed with dots. It may have been S.W.A.L.K. in the old days but it's SWALK now. Save your stops - you might need them one day. Soon.
5. Too many exclamation marks!!!!! I know, I know - I do this too!! I must be found and stopped... oh there I am. Stop it. OK!
6. This isn't punctuation per se, but it's still annoying: Random letters Capitalised for no good Reason. We're not German You Know.
7. I'm being really picky here, but I was picked up once on this one and it hurt: too many dots in your ellipses. There should be three. No more... no less. Any other number is an abomination - unless it's a full stop, in which case I'll let you off.
8. That little ~ symbol. I mean, what's it called and what's it for?
9. worst of all people who dont use punctuation at all maybe because they dont know how and just leave it to you to work out what the hell they are on about
...that brings us to number 10 - which is your chance to join in. What else should be on the list? Tell me your punctuation pet hates?
Come on..... "Spill" the ~ Bean's!!!
p.s. Do you have great examples of bad punctuation, grammar, spelling? Send them to the lovely Grammarphile at RedPenInc