Arlington, VA

A local woman has been named one of the big winners of a little-known contest.

Yorktown resident Kathleen Summers is one of 10 winners of the 2011 National Punctuation Day paragraph contest. In case you missed it, Sept. 24th marked the annual celebration of National Punctuation Day — a day that has promoted the correct usage of punctuation since its founding in 2004.

For the traditional Punctuation Day contest, punctuation fans around the world were invited to: “Write one paragraph, maximum of three sentences, using these 13 punctuation marks: apostrophe, brackets, colon, comma, dash, ellipsis, exclamation point, hyphen, parentheses, period, question mark, quotation mark, and semicolon. You may use a punctuation mark more than once. Multiple entries are permitted.”

Here’s Kathleen’s winning paragraph:

The semiliterate—and unintentionally hilarious—sound bites of the 2012 presidential candidates (such as this recent gem by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, quoted in the Milford [Mass.] Daily News: “If Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people … who knows what may come out of that?”) make me wonder if we should return to the back-to-basics teaching methods of the 1950s. I know what you’re thinking: “Okay, genius, did all those grammar drills, diagrams, and rote memorizations turn you into a gifted writer?” Alas, no; but as prosaic as my sentences may be, at least they’re sentences!

Summers was selected as a winner from the pool of 220 entries received. Entrants were from locales as far-flung as India.

As a winner, Summers will receive “a box of punctuation gifts.”


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