Grammar Humor Shenanigans


Grammar Humor Shenanigans

13 Little-Known Punctuation Marks We Should Be Using – Mental Floss

Original post by Adrienne Crezo / Mental Floss

Because sometimes periods, commas, colons, semi-colons, dashes, hyphens, apostrophes, question marks, exclamation points, quotation marks, brackets, parentheses, braces, and ellipses won’t do.


You probably already know the interrobang, thanks to its excellent moniker and increasing popularity. Though the combination exclamation point and question mark can be replaced by using one of each (You did what!? or You don’t read mental_floss?!), it’s fun to see the single glyph getting a little more love lately.


The backward question mark was proposed by Henry Denham in 1580 as an end to a rhetorical question, and was used until the early 1600s.


It looks a lot like the percontation point, but the irony mark’s location is a bit different, as it is smaller, elevated, and precedes a statement to indicate its intent before it is read. Alcanter de Brahm introduced the idea in the 19th century, and in 1966 French author Hervé Bazin proposed a similar glyph in his book, Plumons l’Oiseau, along with 5 other innovative marks.


Among Bazin’s proposed new punctuation was the love point, made of two question marks, one mirrored, that share a point. The intended use, of course, was to denote a statement of affection or love, as in “Happy anniversary [love point]” or “I have warm fuzzies [love point]” If it were easier to type, I think this one might really take off.


Bazin described this mark as “the stylistic representation of those two little flags that float above the tour bus when a president comes to town.” Acclamation is a “demonstration of goodwill or welcome,” so you could use it to say “I’m so happy to see you [acclamationpoint]” or “Viva Las Vegas [acclamationpoint]”


Need to say something with unwavering conviction? End your declaration with the certitude point, another of Bazin’s designs.


This is the opposite of the certitude point, and thus is used to end a sentence with a note of skepticism.


Bazin’s authority point “shades your sentence” with a note of expertise, “like a parasol over a sultan.” (Well, I was there and that’s what happened.) Likewise, it’s also used to indicate an order or advice that should be taken seriously, as it comes from a voice of authority.


The SarcMark (short for “sarcasm mark”) was invented, copyrighted and trademarked by Paul Sak, and while it hasn’t seen widespread use, Sak markets it as “The official, easy-to-use punctuation mark to emphasize a sarcastic phrase, sentence or message.” Because half the fun of sarcasm is pointing it out [SarcMark].

10. SNARK MARK – .~

This, like the copyrighted SarcMark, is used to indicate that a sentence should be understood beyond the literal meaning. Unlike the SarcMark, this one is copyright free and easy to type: it’s just a period followed by a tilde.

11. ASTERISM – ⁂

This cool-looking but little-used piece of punctuation used to be the divider between subchapters in books or to indicate minor breaks in a long text. It’s almost obsolete, since books typically now use three asterisks in a row to break within chapters (***) or simply skip an extra line. It seems a shame to waste such a great little mark, though. Maybe we should bring this one back.


Now you can be excited or inquisitive without having to end a sentence! A Canadian patent was filed for these in 1992, but it lapsed in 1995, so use them freely, but not too often.

Originally posted 10/7/12 – Mental Floss

Yeah, these are cool, but…

What’s the point if these are not readily available on your keyboard, or if they’re copyrighted (!?) so we can’t use them anyway?
I did a post a while back, originally posted at College Humor, that gave new punctuation, along with a downloadable file of the punctuation used in it! THOSE are awesome!! I have them downloaded into my photo-editing program on my Kindle, and all but one of them work. (The hand-quotes don’t show up, and that makes me sad. I’d of used those the most!)
Until I can link you to the original post, I have notes saved – screen shots edited onto one page, showing what they are.

College Humor Punctuation Key
College Humor Punctuation Key



Grammar Nazis & Kitteh Fiends!
Like the comma, the apostrophe wields amazing power. The talented little dot-and-tail combination (though written at the top of the line, not at the bottom like the comma) can change pronouns to verbs, tell you who owns what, replace a small handful of letters, and make plurals. It comes from the Greek words meaning to turn from or omission.

*After commas, apostrophes seem to be the most misused punctuation mark; grammar vigilantes have their work cut out for them.


Lisa Lane’s ‘Words From The Grammar Nazi

I want to share this Blog post from Lisa Lane (aka Leigh M. Lane). It isn’t a WordPress Blog, so I couldn’t re-blog it. Here is a sneak-peek, along with a link to take you to her original post from 2/25/13.

WORDS FROM THE GRAMMAR NAZI on the Cerebral Writer

“She’ll point out every little mistake. She’ll scream at you for using comma splices and split infinitives. She has no tolerance for fragments and run-ons. Today, she’s taken over the Cerebral Writer and, hate her if you will, she does know her grammar.”

Today’s lesson:
The Most Common Punctuation Errors You Probably Didn’t Know You Were Making

As writers, many of us use our intuitions to get through much of our prose. While this might be a good thing where characterization, dialog, and storyline are concerned, it can also be a huge pitfall when it comes to proper punctuation use. Before formally learning all of the rules, for example, I based my own comma use on various canonical works I’d read. After all, the authors of acclaimed classics had to have gotten it right . . . ? Unfortunately, the answer to that is not always a “yes.” Following are a few of the most common errors I see in other authors’ writing.

FINISH reading this Blog by clicking the link above – ‘Words from the Grammar Nazi’ on the Cerebral Writer