7 punctuation staples for polished writing

Proper grammar and word usage are essential, of course, but sloppy punctuation can confuse readers and even distort your meaning.

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The City of Birmingham, England, banned apostrophes on public signs, saying that removing the punctuation mark would create consistency across local signage. City officials received a slew of complaints as residents called the decision a “dumbing down,” especially as they’re teaching children proper writing skills. City councilors said apostrophes were confusing and old fashioned, designating possessions that are no longer needed or no longer accurate.

Punctuation debates have also been in the U.S. spotlight. Some have argued that the title of the Hugh Grant-Sandra Bullock romantic comedy “Two Weeks Notice” should have read “Two Weeks’ Notice,” because it’s referring to a notice of two weeks.

Follow these simple guidelines from the Associated Press Stylebook for proper use of these punctuation staples that’ll keep your writing crisp.

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