Today, friends, is National Punctuation Day, "a celebration of the lowly comma, correctly used quotes, and other proper uses of periods, semicolons, and the ever-mysterious ellipsis."
In honor of this literary holiday, the Huffington Post news editors have put together an essential punctuation quiz. Test yourself, test your friends, and celebrate the mysterious power of the semicolon.
For each quiz question, there are two sentences with correct punctuation and one sentence with a punctuation error. Select the sentence WITH the error to win big. Enjoy.
National Punctuation Day Quiz
1) The Apostrophe *
Gaddafi's Bedouin-style tent was to be pitched on The Donald's Bedford, New York estate.
Bedfords residents weren't too happy about this, and asked for the tent to be taken down.
Now Gaddafi's upset, too.
2) The Colon *
At the farmer's market, Michelle wore a lei and talked about the tenets: of ''healthy eating'' eat local eat vegetables
Q: What did Michelle Obama wear to the UN? A: A shimmery red skirt suit with a signature bow at the neck.
When I asked HuffPost's Style editor Anya Strzemien if Michelle Obama had one ''best color,'' she answered unequivocally: Yellow.
3) The Comma *
Last Sunday, Obama attempted ''The Full Ginsburg'', which is a term given to anyone who appears on all five Sunday morning political shows: This Week on ABC, Face The Nation on CBS, Meet the Press on NBC, Late Edition on CNN, but not Fox News.
Since Obama eschewed the warm embrace of ''Fox News Sunday,'' it would perhaps be better to call the President's effort the ''Modified, Limited Ginsburg."
Instead of Fox, the President favored Univision. ''We figured Fox would rather show 'So You Think You Can Dance' than broadcast an honest discussion about health insurance reform,'' White House spokesman Josh Earnest told ABC News.
4) The Dash *
On Tuesday night, Rep. Barney Frank and Bill O'Reilly faced off over ACORN -- and the scandal engulfing them.
''Well, you're a little eccentric there, Congressman, with all due respect.'' -- Bill O'Reilly, to Barney Frank.
Frank and O'Reilly argued -- as they have before -- and of course little was resolved.
5) Parenthesis *
Lindsay Lohan recently agreed to host some concerts coinciding with Singapore Grand Prix (She loves cars).
Lohan's home was recently broken into (a suspect has been arrested but not charged) but Lindsay didn't want to discuss it.
''That's for the detectives to do,'' she said (and Lohan is no detective).
6) The Semicolon *
CNN Anchor Anderson Cooper may have swine flu; Sanjay Gupta tentatively diagnosed him on his show last night.
''Swine flu was circulating quite a bit, Anderson, in the area that we were in,'' Sanjay told Cooper; Cooper looked nervous.
Gupta guessed that Cooper had in fact contracted the disease; but was hesitant to give a final and complete diagnosis without tests.
7) Quotation Marks *
A Republican congressman recently expounded on the perils of allowing gay marriage, which he believes is a ''purely socialist concept.''
''It is not only a radical social idea, it is purely socialist concept in the final analysis,'' he said.
Lots of other people found this ''crazy,'' and ''wrong''.
8) Brackets *
''Did Glenn Beck just kill a poor little frog [on national tv]?''
''You know the old saying, if you put a frog into boiling water, he's going to jump right out, because he's scalding hot, but if you place the frog in lukewarm water and gradually raise the temperature, it won't realize what's happening and die?'' [He said.]
''Okay...forget the frog. [pause] I swear I thought they jumped right out. But they don't.''
Show your quiz results to your friends on Facebook
Confused about why your answer was off? Check this handy guide for a refresher in the rules to the most intricate punctuation ins and outs.
In the No Child Left Behind era, every pillar of our education system rests on the presupposition that standardized tests are accurate indicators. Todd Farley helps to bring into starker focus that this is a flawed ideology.