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Why we need punctuation

Punctuation marks are like road signs for readers: they show you where you're going and what's ahead. If they're missing or wrong, a reader can get lost.So, in honor of National Punctuation Day today, here are a few examples of why we need punctuation:

BecauseFresh fish Doesn't mean the same thing as"Fresh" fish

BecauseHeavy equipment operators Are not the same asHeavy-equipment operators

Because semicolons make a list like this much easier to read:Karl Swartz of Morris, Laing, Evans, Brock and Kennedy, Jason Bock of Fleeson, Gooing, Coulson and Kitch, and Paul McCausland of Young, Bogle, McCausland, Wells and Blanchard.

BecauseSue's sister, Sadie, sells satin shades. Tells a reader something different fromSue's sister Sadie sells satin shades.

Because direct addressLet’s eat, people. is not the same as direct objectLet’s eat people.

BecauseBeers for everyone!Doesn't mean the same thing asBeer's for everyone!

BecauseWho's the man?Doesn't mean the same thing asWho's the man!

Because some questions need a punchWhat the ... ‽

(And in early honor of the day, Les Anderson's editing class at WSU celebrated Thursday with some clever punctuation presentations and the delicious cookies in the picture above.)