Video: A Punctuation Lesson via Conan O’Brien

Punctuation Lesson. Photo Credit – Flickr: whittlzSince proper punctuation and Conan O’Brien both hold spots on my “favorite things” list, I was thrilled that I recently got to combine the two in an educational video.

Thanks to the DVR, you can enjoy late-night television any time of day. I record CONAN, and I’ll often put on the show during breaks throughout my work schedule.

In March, the show began its “Fan Corrections” segment. If a viewer finds an error during an episode, Conan invites the fan to make a video about the mistake and post it on YouTube as a response to the challenge.

Last week, I found a punctuation error during Conan’s May 4 show. As a freelance proofreader, it was only appropriate that I make a video about the incident and teach Conan about proper punctuation.

To view the segment in question, click here.

And here’s my video response!

As I explain in my brief punctuation lesson, an event that occurred between 1980 and 1989 is simply part of the “1980s.” You don’t need an apostrophe. If you want to omit “19,” you may use an apostrophe before “80s” to signify the omission.

CORRECT:

1980s

‘80s

INCORRECT:

1980’s

80’s

Even though this may seem like a minor error, it distracted me from the program and inspired me to make a video about the mistake.

A first draft may not accurately express your intentions. Punctuation edits and content revisions ensure that your writing is straightforward and clear.

Proper punctuation enables the reader to comprehend your message effortlessly.

As Nathaniel Hawthorne said, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

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Small Business Writing ConsultantStefanie Flaxman created Revision Fairy® Small Business Proofreading Services with your editing needs in mind.

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