Celebrating National Punctuation Day

From a JCR Weekly poll

What punctuation mark is misused the most?

Comma 52.9 percent

Semi-colon 31.6 percent

Quotation marks 3.8 percent

Hyphen 3 percent

Exclamation mark 2.7 percent

Colon 1.9 percent

Dash 1.5 percent

Parentheses 0.8 percent

Question mark 0.8 percent

In honor of National Punctuation Day on Sept. 24, we asked NCRA members for examples of punctuation errors that are the most annoying. Here are some of the responses:

Not using the Oxford comma!!!!!

Rachel Barkume, RPR, CRR, a freelance reporter and CART Captioner in Alta, Calif.


 “This“. and “that“, Hurts to even type it that way!

Heather Bradfield, RPR, CRR, CRC, a freelance reporter in North Logan, Utah


People who use apostrophes to make nouns plural!

Stephanie Koenigs, RPR, a freelance reporter in Fond du lac, Wisc.


The dash because, if I’m using it, I’m usually trying to make sense out of someone’s sloppy, broken sentences. So I guess it’s really the speaker that annoys me.

Deborah Cohen-Rojas, RDR, CRR, an official reporter in Grayslake, Ill.


‘ (apostrophe) in the wrong place’s . It’s getting worse all the time.

Diane Stanley, a broadcast captioner in Ocean Shores, Wash.


Holiday cards that say From The Smith’s. I can’t even enjoy the sentiment of the season!

 Amy Doman, RMR, CRR, a freelance reporter in Carmel, Ind.


Apostrophe abuse. Apostrophes used for plurals or in possessive pronouns like her’s or their’s instead of hers or theirs.

Elsa Jorgensen, a freelance reporter in Birmingham, Mich.


Omitted direct address commas.

Rich Germosen, RDR, CRR, a freelance reporter in North Brunswick, N.J.


We are the Blackburns, not the Blackburn’s.

Brenda Blackburn, RPR, a freelance reporter in Hollandale, Miss.


1. Hyphenated adverb/adjective pairs and 2. “She was 10-years-old.” Aggh! “She was a 10-year-old girl,” great.

Aimee Suhie, a freelance reporter in New Fairfield, Conn.


My number one is when the apostrophe is used with numbers.

“It happened in the 1980’s.”

“The price was in the 140’s.”

Stop the madness!

Cassy Kerr, RPR, CRR, CRC, an official reporter in The Village, Okla.


The misuse of plural possessives.

Barb Quinn, RMR, a freelance reporter in West Chester, Pa.


For me it’s not using a semicolon before “and” when joining two clauses when there is punctuation in one of the clauses.

Susan Horak, RDR, CRR, a scopist in Columbus, Ohio

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