Most Annoying Punctuation Mark: Poll Results

And the results are in! Thanks to everyone who voted in my poll on the most annoying punctuation mark. For several days, the comma had the clear lead, but then the semi-colon pulled up from behind, until they were neck and neck for a final finish! Here are the results:

Comma: 41%

Semi-Colon: 38%

Hyphen: 21%

Comma cartoon by Debbie Ridpath OhiImage terms of use

Some of you also pointed your fingers at other punctuation marks, like the ellipsis, the colon, and quotes. (And then there were those of us who freely admitted to abusing the exclamation mark!)

Thank you for all your comments and suggestions. I will now be retreating to my writerly cave for a little while to plan out this series, which will likely start with the comma. I look forward to the challenge of making punctuation rules entertaining!


Yours in punctuation angst,


17 thoughts on “Most Annoying Punctuation Mark: Poll Results

  1. Super excited to see where the comma takes us… though quotes would be interesting too, at some point. Particularly when dealing with Australian single quotes vs. double, and quotes inside quotes for that kind… as well as whether to use quotes when writing ‘thoughts.’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, those single vs. double quotes can be challenging! I’m going to try to bring some international aspects of usage into here – it’s fascinating how stylistic conventions for English have developed so differently across the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It never fails – not only do I find writerly wisdom by the bucketful here, Sue, but I laugh my way through it. And somehow, the humor imprints your lovely lessons down to the cellular level.
    So looking forward to the series.

    Liked by 1 person

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