Punctuation Saves Lives!

It’s Saturday, so instead of our usual writing tip we’ll have some fun. The image below appeared on Deborah Ng’s Google+ (Google’s social network) stream yesterday. Nice huh?

For those who can’t see the image, the first line says: “Let’s eat grandma!”. The second line says: “Let’s eat, grandma!”. And the conclusion: “Punctuation saves lives!”.

If you have similar images about the English language and want to see them featured on the blog you can send them to i[email protected]. We might make this a regular column.

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16 thoughts on “Punctuation Saves Lives!”

  1. I was just wondering, if images might be something that appears now and then, could they have a description in the post? I was intrigued by the post title but since I can’t see the image, I feel a bit left out.
    I would really appreciate it. 🙂

  2. @JK, sorry about that! I just edited the post, including a description about the image. Will keep this in mind for future ones too.

  3. I love all of your blog posts. They are enjoyable to read, and I learn so many things. I love to write but never studied grammar or punctuation. I think of your posts as delicious snacks.

    The post today is not only very funny but also a perfect reminder to pay attention to these things when I write.

    Why do some people not see the image? Do they go to your web home page and still not have it come up?

  4. I’ve read several novels published in England that eliminated the comma used in direct address. Instead of “Close the door Charles,” it read, “Close the door Charles.” I asked a British friend if they were typos and he said it was becoming pretty much standard!

  5. @Lillian, there are many people with vision impairment who browse the web normally thanks to text to speech software.

  6. Daniel, thank you for the edit and the clarification too. 🙂 Yeah, I’m blind but am a writer, and such mistakes do happen. Mostly it just makes the sentence totally weird but at times they are funny, like this one. That comma is tricky. 😀

  7. Hey Folks !!!

    It’s been a long time I don’t write here, nice to see you guys are still doing this great job, I recommend your web site to all my students.

    So, as the topic is punctuation, I’ll leave you guys with this one, feel free punctuate as you please and let me know what you get from the sentence:


    That’s it !!! See y’all !!! Cheers !!!

  8. so damn humourous and educative at the same time. God bless u guyz for coming with this site. It’s really helpful and there’s so much to learn. Keep up the great work!

  9. I did get a chuckle from your post of October 3, featuring the hapless grandmother! To review, I am isolating the quoted lines:

    . . . “Let’s eat grandma!”.
    . . . “Let’s eat, grandma!”.
    And the conclusion: “Punctuation saves lives!”.

    However, when I clicked on the link to the related article below the entry, entitled “Punctuation Errors: American and British Quotation Marks,” I found the following:

    “It depends. If you are writing in American English, other punctuation should go inside the quotation marks, even if it is not part of the quoted sentence.

    “. . . you should not finish a sentence with more than one punctuation mark, regardless of the rule you are using.”

    I believe a better version of your writing would be to delete the extraneous periods:

    For those who can’t see the image, the first line says: “Let’s eat grandma!” The second line says: “Let’s eat, grandma!” And the conclusion: “Punctuation saves lives!”

    (The exclamation marks clearly are correctly located inside the quotes, as the quoted sentences are exclamations.)

  10. Like in that joke about a bear who enters a restaurant, and, after eating, shoots the people thare and leaves, and, when asked why he did it, says, “Well, about a bear it’s said that he ‘eats, shoots, and leaves'”.

  11. Wasn’t in a “A Fish Called Wanda” where the woman tells her idiot partner:
    “Don’t do anything stupid. Put the comma where you like.”

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