Whitney Danhauer

Spin Sucks Question: What’s Your Punctuation Pet Peeve?

By: Whitney Danhauer | September 27, 2019 | 
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punctuation pet peeveI have a confession.

And I don’t want to upset anyone, but I’m addicted to ellipses …

They’re my favorite form of punctuation.

I use them way too much, and most of the time I use them incorrectly … (Like there!)

The worst part is I know I’m making an error, yet proceed to do so anyway.

As someone who mainly writes for a living, I should be ashamed, but guess what?

I’m not.

Like at all …

To be fair, I mainly use them in texting conversations or on social media.

In those areas, it’s more common to write the way you talk and throw caution to the wind.

But don’t think all grammar rules go out the window in digital communications.

That’s right, I’m looking at you, Incorrect Comma Users.

My point is, we all have our punctuational pet peeves and since Tuesday was National Punctuation Day, that inspired this week’s #SpinSucksQuestion:

Do you have a punctuation pet peeve?

So, do you have one?

From the looks of it, our grammatically-on-top-of-things community had a lot to say!

Punctuation Pet Peeves

Sean Stickle:

My punctuation pet peeve—I do not like punctuation inside the closing quotation mark. For example:

He said the wolf was “vicious,” and suggested that it be tamed.

It should be:

He said the wolf was “vicious”, and suggested that it be tamed.

Christopher Penn:

#TeamOxfordComma

Paula Kiger:

Unnecessary apostrophes. (Such as “apple’s for sale at a produce stand.)

Lisa Barnett:

How about the overuse of exclamation marks! Why does everything have to end with it! If the text is good enough then you don’t need!

Martin Waxman:

Aside from typos and spelling errors, the one thing that bugs me most is inconsistency.  I’m fine if you want to write in all lower case. (I know, I’ll probably hear a few comments about that.) But don’t accidentally slip in a capital at the beginning of a sentence just because Microsoft auto-corrected you.

Also, there are different styles and rules depending on where you’re from. For instance, Canadian Press says headlines should be in sentence case, while AP’s rule for headlines is title case. It doesn’t matter to me which you choose. Just pick one and stick to it.

Laura Stewart:

Exclamation marks don’t belong in business writing, unless your brand has that type of writing style. A former boss and mentor always told me exclamation marks were lazy writing, good copy should have enough punch to never need them. My other pet peeve is the random capitalization of words. So jarring.

Kimberly Crossland:

The unnecessary use of “quotation marks” drives me up the wall. Also, ending every sentence with an ellipsis is confusing and leaves me hanging …

Chris Williams:

My punctuation pet peeve is people telling me to use the wrong punctuation mark after I’ve used the right one.

Joanna Rice:

My punctuation pet peeve is improper use of punctuation outside of quotation marks. My other pet peeve is the absence of punctuation in messaging (usually texts). Don’t people know that dictation recognizes punctuation? Argh!

Pass On Your Pet Peeve

Is there a punctuation mistake that drives you nuts?

Or do you let the punctuation habits of others roll off your back?

We want to know!

You can leave your answers here or you can join our Spin Sucks community.

It’s totally free and you’ll get to pal around with some pretty awesome communications pros.

Fill out the form here if you’re interested and once you join, you can partake in the #SpinSucksQuestion every week if you want.

Hope to see you soon!

About Whitney Danhauer


Whitney is living in Central Kentucky with her husband, Michael and her daughter, Evie Rose. She's an avid reader, an even more avid movie watcher, and loves nothing more than a well-placed pop culture reference. By day she writes about all things communications for Spin Sucks, by night she writes about whatever she wants. Her first novel, Good Riddance, was released in October of 2015.