Thursday, August 12, 2010

: - MyPoWriYe #134

(Colon Convention Begins )

Lately I have been thinking about colons.  Yesterday, it struck me that 'colon'  has the same name and spelling as one of our body parts!  This is surely fodder for a later poem, but today's poem is simply one which explains usage.  Sometimes poems do teach us facts within their rhythms and meters.  Indeed, poetry can make learning playful.

For more playfulness around grammar and mechanics, check out illiterate businesses, where Maria highlights all kinds of incorrect usage in signage.  You can even submit your own photographs or ask her to proofread a sign (5 words) that you plan to hang.  If you love this sort of thing, she links to other such websites as well.

One of my favorite books to help children understand mechanics, a book which makes this topic fascinating, is Jeff Anderson's EVERYDAY EDITING.  Throughout my reading of this book, I found myself whispering under my breath, "How could I have been an English major and not have learned this?"

On Tuesday, npr ran a piece about a new book by Jeff Beck and Benjamin D. Herson, THE GREAT TYPO HUNT.  These two men traveled the country for 2 1/2 months searching for and correcting typos.  Result?  They found 437 typos and corrected more than half.

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Sometimes I find extra apostrophes on bulletin boards and stuff them into my pockets.  Do you commit random acts of editing?

(Colon Convention Ends )

(Please click on COMMENTS below to share a thought.)


  1. Love the poem, Amy. Thanks for the shout out to my book Everyday Editing. I am glad my message comes through. I am sure I am going to use your poem in one of my workshops for sure. And I bought the Great Typo Hunt. Signs can be hilarious. None top the tattoo of the grim reaper that says, "Your Mine." That's a painful error;-)

  2. HI Amy! Love the colon poem! I was just posting on FB that I saw mis-used apostrophes on a digital sign last night! "Boy's and Girl's Soccer" Lori suggested we create a bulletin board of them in the faculty room!

  3. Jeff,
    Thank you! I do love your books, and I'd be tickled if you used this poem. (I'm considering writing a whole punctuation collection.) Love that tattoo.
    I am laughing! I think you should make a board - heck, hang it right in the hallway and drum up conversation among the children!