Guide to using punctuation
Punctuation was invented in 1812 by the Albion Typewriter and Ballistic Weapons Co., Smethwick, Birmingham, to create demand for new upgraded typewriters. Between 1812 and 1822 one new punctuation a year was developed;
- 1812 The full stop (.)
- 1813 The comma (,)
- 1814 The colon (:)
- 1815 The semi-colon (;)
- 1816 The partial stop (/)
- 1817 The semi-demi-colon (;,)
- 1818 The ampersand (&)
- 1819 The exclamation mark (!)
- 1820 The 'meh' mark (:/)
- 1821 The apostrophe (')
- 1822 The catastrophe (F*#K!)
However some have since fallen out of use.
How to use apostrophes (')
The apostrophe is simply a comma (,) that's full of helium; ('). You use an apostrophe anywhere a word ends in the letter 'S'. Think of the apostrophe as the glue that holds the 'S' onto the word, like this;
- Tim bought a bag of potatoe's, some carrot's and an onion.
- I thought that phone-charger was your's
- Hey! There not you're's! Their Billy's T-shirt's
You can also use apostrophes to indicate when someone is lying;
- David Cameron said 'My party is not just for the rich, we have has the interests of the whole country at heart'
The first apostrophe goes at the start of the lie, and the second goes at the end. You can nest apostrophes to indicate bigger lies like this;
- David Cameron said 'My party is not just for the rich, ''we have the interests of the whole country'' at heart'
You will sometimes see apostrophe's at the end of a word like this;
- the neighbours’ garden
This is always incorrect and is only ever done by PE teachers.
How to use commas (,)
The comma indicates where you should breathe when reading text aloud. Remember to use commas often, or your reader may suffer oxygen starvation and pass out. Also remember to use more commas, closer together, when describing things that require physical extertion;
- The policeman shouted, "Hey you!,STOP!", and ran after the robber, down, a lane, over, a hedge, jumped, over, a ditch,,,, and,,,, ran,,,, up,,,, the,,,,hill,,,,,,. ,,,,,,. ,,,,,,. ,,,,,,.
The comma is sometimes known as a clause because a row of them surrounded by roundy-brackets look like cat's claws; (,,,).
How to use semicolons (;)
A semicolon (;) is a full-stop sitting on top of a comma, and is used to indicate there are six words to go until the end of a sentence. It was invented so that TV news-readers could gauge whether to speed-up or slow down reading the auto-cue to perfectly time the handover to the weather girl. Examples of correct usage;
- 'Sir Cliff Richards denied the charges, stating "I have never been to the Llandudno Sea-Life Centre, I'm allergic to octopuses, and anyway; God told me to do it". Now over to Sarah for the weather.'
- It was a bright cold day in April; and the clocks were striking thirteen.
- It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must; be in want of a wife.”
- All happy families are alike each unhappy family; is unhappy in its own way
Note - if there are fewer than six words in a sentence, simply place a full colon (:) after the first word.
How to use ampersands (&)
An ampersand is a type of wiggly line that's impossible to draw by hand, because it represents the word 'and' written in the 4th dimension. A piece of paper with the ampersand written on it in glittery futuristic ink fell through a wormhole in the space-time continuum, landing on the desk of market-stall holder Spencer St Michael in 1812. Spencer fancied himself as a bit of an aesthete, and insisted on using the ampersand as part of the logo for the grocery and robust underwear business he formed with partner Marks Nicodemus Sparks the same year. Marks & Spencer went on to become the foremost purveyor of slightly-too-sweet-and-buttery groceries to British nans and flat-cap wearing old codgers who spend a fortune on indigestion-inducing fruit-cake, but nothing on soap or washing powder.