Today is my new favorite holiday. Twitter pals, GrammarGirl and Martha Brockenbrough have informed me that today is the a very important event for those of us in the literary world - National Grammar Day! In honor of this, the holiest of days, I would like to retell a story that was told to me way back in the seventh grade on another very fateful day - the day I fell in love with English. This is a very powerful story about the might punctuation can yield. Use it wisely.
Once upon a time, there was a very bright English class with a very enthusiastic teacher. One day, during their grammar lesson, they were learning all about the rules of punctuation when a mysterious man suddenly entered the classroom. He asked if he could speak to the students, and the teacher reluctantly agreed.
Pacing in front of the students, he began a lecture of his own. "Grammar is not important!" He cried. "No one really needs punctuation! Everything she tells you is a lie. Your teacher... is stupid!"
The students gasped in horror at the attack on their beloved teacher, but she just stood by calmly. After a moment, she finally spoke, "Stranger, I can prove you wrong. I have proof that punctuation is important." With a gleam in her eye, she moved towards the chalk board and picked up one piece of chalk. Then, she began to write.
The stranger said teacher is stupid
Standing back, she let her students and their visitor read what she had written. Then, with a small smile, she walked back to the board and began to write again. There was a flurry of punctuation, and this is what emerged.
"The stranger," said teacher, "is stupid."
Standing back, she watched with triumph as the stranger fell to his knees in defeat before running out of the room. Turning to her students with her hands on her hips, she grinned. Punctuation is important, indeed.