Enter Punctuation Haiku Contest to help celebrate National Punctuation Day, September 24

Punctuation marks:
Commas, colons, periods
That give words meaning.

Ah. It’s the essence of punctuation in a simple haiku.

Last year National Punctuation Day had a baking contest—and what a delicious exercise that was! This year, to celebrate the 7th annual National Punctuation Day (NPD) on September 24, 2010, we’re trying something a bit more literary—our first National Punctuation Day® Haiku Contest, with the winners receiving a plethora of punctuation goodies.

It will be a celebration of proper punctuation in traditional Japanese-style verse. Send your best poetry to Jeff [at] NationalPunctuationDay [dot] com, and let the literary games begin!

Haikus must be received by September 30 to be considered for prizes.

National Punctuation Day is the holiday that reminds America that a “semicolon is not a surgical procedure.” NPD is celebrated in schools and businesses throughout the world with activities, games, programs, and contests. It has inspired people to pay attention not only to their p’s and q’s, but also their commas, semicolons, and ellipses. NPD reminds us of the importance of proper punctuation for communicating clearly at home, school, or at work.

Former newspaper reporter Jeff Rubin founded National Punctuation Day in 2004 to draw attention to the importance of proper punctuation. It’s a day for librarians, educators, and parents – people who are interested in teaching and promoting good writing skills to their students and their children. It’s also a day to remind business people that they are often judged by how they present themselves.

“Successful people have good communication skills, and that includes knowing how to write properly,” Jeff says. “Punctuation counts. A misplaced comma can alter the meaning of a message.”

NPD has received worldwide media attention, with newspaper coverage from Manila to London, from Ghana to Toronto, and from Seoul to Seattle, in addition to broad radio and TV coverage in the United States — including a short segment on Regis and Kelly in 2008 and a one-hour online chat on The Washington Post website in 2009.

NPD is recognized by Chase’s Calendar of Events and listed in its sister publication, The Teacher’s Calendar, two directories published by McGraw-Hill.

The NPD website — in addition to highlighting the latest in literacy news and featuring incorrectly punctuated signs from all over the world — serves as a resource that helps educators teach good writing skills and helps students understand the basics of punctuation. Business people worldwide use it as a reference guide.

There’s even a punctuation newsletter! The Exclamation Point!, which contains articles on the latest literacy news from around the world, book reviews, and commentary.

HOW TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL PUNCTUATION DAY

Here’s how you can participate in National Punctuation Day on September 24:

1. Go to www.NationalPunctuationDay.com and become familiar with punctuation rules and issues.

2. Organize punctuation activities at your school, library, or office.

3. Share punctuation peeves with founder Jeff Rubin at Jeff [at] NationalPunctuationDay [dot] com.

4. Send photos of incorrectly punctuated signage to Jeff Rubin at Jeff [at] NationalPunctuationDay [dot] com.

To learn how schools and companies can participate in National Punctuation Day, or to schedule an interview with Jeff Rubin, the Punctuation Man, visit www.NationalPunctuationDay.com, call Jeff at (877) 588-1212, or e-mail Jeff at Jeff [at] NationalPunctuationDay [dot] com

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