Texas State Updates: National Punctuation Day

Celebrate the holiday with a quiz

Today is National Punctuation Day, an annual event that celebrates what we hope is the proper use of punctuation marks.

And while the official site for National Punctuation Day is sponsoring a punctuation haiku contest this year, we’re more into instant gratification here at the Texas State blog.

So here are 10 punctuation questions of varying levels of difficulty, gleaned from the Associated Press Stylebook. Take the quiz, then leave a comment on the blog to tell us how you did. We’ll pick 10 of you at random to receive the deluxe maroon-and-gold writing set (pictured).

1. Which of these is correct?
a. “Halt!”, the sentry shouted.
b. “Halt!” the sentry shouted.
c. “Halt,!” the sentry shouted.
d. None of the above. We hate exclamation points.

2. What punctuation is recommended to denote the unfamiliar phrase in this sentence?
a. Joe tuned in the game on his “transistor radio.”
b. Joe tuned in the game on his ‘transistor radio.’
c. Joe tuned in the game on his (transistor radio).
d. None of the above, as I do not understand what the heck either “tune in” or “transistor radio” mean.

3. Which of these is correct?
a. Who wrote “Gone with the Wind?”
b. Who wrote Gone with the Wind?
c. Who wrote “Gone with the Wind”?
d. What in the world is “Gone with the Wind?”

4. According to the Associated Press stylebook, what punctuation marks never should appear in the same sentence?
a. A dash and a colon.
b. A dash and a period.
c. A dash and an exclamation point.
d. A period and an ellipsis. All those dots make people dizzy.

5. Which of these is correct usage of punctuation?
a. LBJ (for Lyndon Baines Johnson)
b. L.B.J. (for Lyndon Baines Johnson)
c. LB.J. (for Lyndon Baines Johnson)
d. L.B.J. (for LeBron James)

6. According the Associated Press stylebook, a semicolon should be used:
a. to cram two completely unrelated thoughts into the same sentence.
b. when a whole colon is just too much to bear.
c. never in a Tweet.
d. to indicate a greater separation of thought and information in a sentence than a comma can convey, but less than a period.

7. Ellipsis are used to:
a. indicate the deletion of one or more words in a quote.
b. indicate a pause or an incomplete thought by a speaker
c. make people being quoted sound guilty (“I am . . . a crook,” President Nixon said.)
d. all of the above

8. When using a compound modifier, use a hyphen between words except when:
a. one of the words is “very”
b. one of the words an adverb than ends in –ly
c. you don’t what the heck a compound modifier is
d. all of the above

9. Which of these is correct?
a. It’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood.
b. Its a wonderful day in the neighborhood.
c. Theirs a wonderful day in the neighborhood.
d. “Why are you so happy, anyway”?

10. How do you indicate the plural of single letters (if, for example, you made an C in all five of your classes):
a. C’s
b. Cs
c. C-s
d. None of the above. I would never make a C in all five of my classes.

1. a (or maybe d)
2. a
3. c
4. a
5. a
6. d
7. d
8. d
9. a
10. a

9 responses to “Texas State Updates: National Punctuation Day

  1. 9/10! WOohoo!

  2. 10/10! Woohoo! Looks like the Texas State Education Department is really working for me! 🙂 Go Bobcats!

  3. 8/10, did pretty good at 9 in the morning! 🙂 Go bobcats!

  4. Guess I should have taken a grammar class or two here!

  5. 100%! Being a grammar nazi pays off!

  6. I answered 8 out of 10 questions correctly on the quiz! (Not too shabby for a bio major…)

  7. 9/10! Not too bad…

  8. Varsha Ramachandran

    8/10!!! I didn’t know we had a National Punctuation Day!! 😀

  9. 6/10 nt great, but not bad either considering the fact that english is not my first language.

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