Punctuation Facts You Definitely Didn’t Know Before

You could be forgiven for thinking that grammar is a pretty boring topic but it’s actually not the case at all. There are lots to learn and plenty of it is pretty fascinating when you look at it from the right angle. Consider using free online punctuation editor and these bizarre punctuation facts below and see just how interesting grammar and punctuation can really be.

Learning grammar doesn’t have to be frustrating or uninteresting when you bear in mind how some of the bizarre rules got to be the way they are. You can add an intriguing story to almost any punctuation rule you can think of. This makes the whole learning process much easier and far more enjoyable.

Interesting Facts about Punctuation

facts about punctuation

Image credit: Brain Chase

These useful facts about punctuation go way beyond just teaching you about proper sentence structure. Rather, you’ll get a whole new insight into what makes the English language the phenomenon that it is today. Just take a look at the interesting punctuation rules below and you’ll see exactly what we mean.

  • Perhaps the strangest thing is the number of interesting punctuation marks that exist but are rarely if ever, used. Consider the interrobang, a bizarre cross between a question mark and exclamation. Funnily enough, it actually looks exactly like someone has tried to draw one of these on top of the other.
  • One of the major bits of punctuation that has a disproportionate level of usage nowaday is the so-called hashtag symbol. Except, of course, it’s not called that at all. In fact, it’s not even called the pound sign or number sign as older readers might have assumed. The proper name for “#” is the octothorpe, which you may have guessed has to do with the 8 points made up by the intercrossing lines.

interesting punctuation fact

  • The “at” marker, used in emails and direct shout outs to Twitter and Instagram users, is written as “@”. While it makes perfect sense to call it this way, you’ll be interested to know that other languages refer to it by its shape rather than its English meaning. This makes perfect sense as “at” isn’t the same word in Italian or Russian, for example. Interestingly, Russian web users would refer to this symbol as “sobaka”, literally meaning “dog”. Sometimes they’re so fond of this symbol that they use a diminutive version of this word instead.
  • Punctuation marks weren’t always in use. Someone did have to invent them, after all. Before the use of the now-prevalent question marks, writers of Classical Latin would have had to literally state that their remark was a question. Eventually, people got tired of this and began to use the letter “Q” over the letter “O”, which gradually morphed into a separate character for this particular use.
  • Here’s something that’ll sound eerily similar thanks to the practices of ancient Roman scribes. Much as with their question marks, they turned their exclamation from the letters “I” and “O” on top of one another into a mere vertical line and a dot beneath it. Lo and behold, the exclamation mark was born.

How to Utilize Your New-Found Knowledge

There are a number of different things that you should be able to do properly if you are to avoid the majority of errors in punctuation and spelling, not to mention grammar.

Consider the factors below and the associated statistics and see why you need to make sure you’ve polished your writing skills.
  • You really should know how to use apostrophes properly even if you do enjoy using the best online punctuation. It never hurts to have this knowledge in your head to use when you can’t rely on software. In particular, remember that you need apostrophes to form possessives but you don’t need them to make more than 99% of plurals.
  • Learn how to use parentheses. Consider that you should put a period outside of the closing parenthesis if it’s the end of a sentence containing other information. This is in contrast to when you’d place the period within the parentheses if the whole sentence is enclosed by them.
  • You should always use a hyphen (commonly referred to as a dash) when writing compound adjectives. These are phrases which describe a noun in the same way as a typical adjective, for example, “second-best”. Don’t forget this important punctuation mark if you want to give the best impression.
  • Don’t mix up the semicolon and colon. It’s easy to do if you don’t know the rules, but once you’ve learned them, you’ll find it hard to forget what goes where. Simply put, a semicolon can be used when two clauses are related but not necessarily intimately. A colon, on the other hand, should be used when the second clause explains or elaborates upon the first.
  • Make sure you know what you’re doing with quotation marks. In American English, you’ll find that commas and periods are supposed to be put inside any quotation marks at the end of your sentence even if they wouldn’t have been there in the original text. You’ll generally find that British English views the period or full stop as British people call it, as something to place right at the end of a sentence and outside of the quotation marks if necessary.

These interesting punctuation facts should have injected a bit of color into what can otherwise be a rather dull subject, albeit an important one. Consider the advice above and you’ll quickly gain a good grasp of how to properly punctuate your English writing. If you’re finding it rather difficult, you can try out a hyphen checker to get you used to the basics of English punctuation usage.

With all the right punctuation facts at hand, you’re perfectly prepared to become a real master of English. Make sure you always check your work and you’ll be the best of the best!