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Marketers love a bit of razzmatazz. The calendar sags under the weight of days set aside for celebrating everything from hot dogs (date varies: 14th July this year) to lawn mowing (8th November: bizarrely timed for a month when grass barely grows). Most are spurious: publicity campaigns hatched to catch a lazy journalist’s eye.

I’m not convinced that National Punctuation Day (this coming Saturday, 24th) is much better. At least it’s a concept I can identify with. Not that the website does much to get you hyphenating, let alone hyperventilating.

There must be something in the human psyche that makes us want to mark the days. The Christian calendar offers us a saint or two for every day of the year. Today (22nd September) is the Feast of Saint Maurice. Sadly there’s no patron saint of punctuation, but there is one for writers and journalists (does that include copywriters?): St Francis de Sales, whose feast day is 24th January.

More fun, less … sorry – fewer – rules for National Punctuation Day

Let’s face it, no one wants another lecture on colons and comma splices. I’d rather spend the day playing with words. Which is why my tiny contribution to National Punctuation Day is a round of punctuation one-liners. Oh yes, and another smug pop at the grocer’s / souvenir seller’s apostrophe.


An ellipsis walked into a crowded bar. "If you don't make room for me," it said, "I'll take you out."



A question mark was struggling to find its place in a circular argument. "Is there no end to this?" it asked.



How many serial commas does it take to unscrew … pause … remove … pause … and replace a light bulb?



Did you hear the story about the en dash that upstaged a hyphen? That's the long and the short of it.



A period fell asleep on a train. It missed its stop and woke at the end of the line.



A homeless apostrophe went to see the doctor. "I'm feeling out of sorts," it said.



I once went out with an ellipsis. It didn't last: our relationship just seemed to trail off …



A group of exclamation marks ordered a round of drinks in a pub. "Whose shout is it?" asked the landlord.


Got a few witticisms of your own? Share them here.

Jokes © 2016 Text Wizard Copywriting Ltd.

You’re welcome to use them so long as you credit us with copyright.


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