Almost all of us are trying to write correctly and without any serious mistakes. The initial rules we start learning at school and then improve them by reading good books, contemporary newspapers, modern magazines or some types of official documents. But could you answer such question as “When is National Punctuation Day in 2017?” immediately? Or perhaps you need some time for thinking or trying or remembering?
It is a pity but “no” is the most typical reply to them both. And that is why we have decided to discover this matter in details.
Of course, it is of common knowledge that it is quite difficult to explain what day National Punctuation Day in 2017 is without taking into account the historical background of this event.
Several thousand years ago, the words were not separated from each other by blanks, and the text was not separated by the dot placement. However, in the 5th century BC in their texts some Greek writers decided to introduce some punctuation marks. According to the specialists’ point of view, the first pointed sign was found in the writings of Euripides. With this sign the playwright signified the change of the speaking hero.
Aristotle was the first who invented the punctuation mark, which carried the function of changing the semantic meaning in the text. It was called the paragraph, which meant «recording on the side». This sign was designated as a horizontal line, which was located at the bottom at the beginning of the line.
In the 1st century, the Romans were already actively using the points on the letter. By the end of the Middle Ages, the letter «c» (abbreviation from “capitulum”, which meant “chapter”) was beginning to be put in this place.
Believe you or not, but people started to separate paragraphs by indentations and skipping the lines only in the 17th century. The division of the semantic segments by means of signs was begun in about 194 BC. At that time famous Aristophanes of Alexandria created a three-part system, which was used when dividing the text into different lengths.
What does National Punctuation Day mean? Frankly speaking, it is up to you to decide how to answer this question. You see, in the modern world there are many people, who not only don’t know how to write properly and correctly, but don’t pay any attention to this matter.
And this is more or less historical fact. As you can understand, until the middle of the 17th century, punctuation meant writing points near consonants. Such special marks denoted vowel sounds in written Hebrew. At the same time we can’t but mention that in Latin language, the sign writing had the same name as the placement of points. The exchange of these values occurred in the very middle of the 17th century.
Signs that are designed to separate words into groups that are convenient for our perception are called punctuation (from Latin “punctus”, that is, a dot). Such signs bring order to these very groups, help to interpret and understand the text correctly and prevent false perception of words, phrases and sentences. That is why the answer to the question “What is the date of National Punctuation Day 2017?” may be interesting for quite different people all over the world.
All in all not everybody knows that the lower point, or so-called «comma,» was placed at the end of a short segment, when dividing the text into large parts. In the middle the segments were separated by the special point arranged in the middle and named the «column». Presumably Aristophanes became the first person, who started using a hyphen to write compound words and an inclined line that was placed near words with an incomprehensible meaning.
However, initially such innovations in the field of punctuation were not widely recognizable. They had been periodically used until the 8th century, when the scribes had already begun to separate the words from each other and to apply the prefixed letters. But it was not convenient much to read the text without punctuation marks. Alquin, an Anglo-Saxon scholar, reformed the system and introduced some additions. Some of them reached England, where punctuation marks appeared around the 10th century. In the manuscripts of that time, they were used to designate a change in intonation and pause.
So you have already known the answer to the question “When is International Punctuation Day 2017?”, but would you like to get some recommendations how to celebrate September 24 properly?
According to the specialists’ point of view there are no any special ways to celebrate this event. But, please, don’t worry and don’t be upset. In most cases your rich imagination will help to create you something really special for your family or, perhaps, some guests or colleagues from work.
For example, it is possible to organize the merry competition, the main task of which will be to write as many correct words as it is available.
Punctuation Day Facts
All in all when is Punctuation Day in 2017, calendar will remind you without any serious difficulties, however, would you like to get some useful pieces of information about this matter? If your answer is “yes”, here is a special list, compiled just for you.
- At the end of the 15th century Ald Manucius, a Venetian printer, became the author of punctuation marks, which have survived up to the present day unchanged. For example: a point, a colon and a semicolon. The well-known printer Ald Manulius the Younger, 60 years later, designated punctuation marks as auxiliary for the first time. Basing on these signs, he assigned the function of sentence structure determining.
- In 1862, being on a holiday, Victor Hugo wanted to learn about the readers’ reaction to the newly published novel «Les Miserables» and that is why he sent a short telegram to his publisher. It consisted from only one sign»?» In reply the talented person received «!». Probably, it was the shortest correspondence in history.
- The punctuation mark «tick», which we use to denote the correct answer and to give consent, has the opposite meaning in Sweden, Norway and Finland. For example, in Swedish schools children tick the wrong answers, and the correct ones are marked with the letter R.
- In Spanish, the interrogative sentence is accompanied by two question marks: one stands, as usual, at the end of the sentence, and the other at the beginning, and in an inverted form. For example, the phrase «How are you?» in Spanish will be «¿Cómo estás?»
- In Arabic and Persian, one question mark is used, but mirrored one. In Greek, the point of semicolon plays generally the role of the question mark.
- In Armenian writing they have not only a special alphabet, but also their own, in many respects different from other European writing systems, punctuation, in which only the comma and quotes coincide with the familiar signs. For instance, at the end of the sentence, the Armenians put a colon, both in place of the point, and instead of the interrogative and exclamation marks. Instead of the usual colon, on the contrary, use a point. The Armenian question mark is put after the last vowel of the interrogative word, and the exclamation is over the last vowel of the word, which is intonationally exclamation.