Hot doggies, I won the National Punctuation Day contest! (Along with nine others.)
The prize? No, not the comma-shaped chocolates I had hoped for, but a nerdy T-shirt. I will take a picture of myself wearing it when it finally comes in the mail.
The Punctuation Paragraph Contest rules were to write one paragraph, maximum of three sentences, using all 13 punctuation marks: apostrophe, brackets, colon, comma, dash, ellipsis, exclamation point, hyphen, parentheses, period, question mark, quotation marks, and semicolon. Apparently some people cannot count to three or to thirteen, according to contest officials.
Jeff Rubin, founder of National Punctuation Day and organizer of the contest, said there were 220 entries from 204 people in the adult contest – with one person submitting 10 entries. (Get a life, man!) There were also 40 schools participating, including The American School of The Hague and Harvard University. He asked for my photo so he could notify the Houston Chronicle newspaper and post it on his website.
This was my entry for the contest:
Who would’ve thought that I – a female chemist from upstate New York (LeRoy) – would spend my entire career in the Houston oil industry? Had you suggested it back then, I would have told you this: “I just graduated [from SUNY Albany] and I’m on a mission to cure cancer …; you’re nuts!” Well, my self-assurance vanished when I learned how interesting and high-tech the oil industry really is.
Which brings me to my Tip of the Day:
Do not capitalize the oil and gas industry. Use lower case letters, as I have here, and spell out the ampersand (&) as “and.”
My friend Barbara Saunders, a technical writer for Rigzone.com, sent me this email: “If you haven’t already, would you please blog on how Oil & Gas Industry and Petroleum Industry are not proper nouns and should not be capitalized like I have here? I gag every time I see this. It looks both arrogant and ignorant. No other industry I’m aware of does this. Do we see Airline Industry, Computer Industry, etc.? I think it might even be a subliminal part of the industry’s perception problems.”
Good point, Barb. (And yes, “to blog” is an official verb.)
I think the reason many people in the oil and gas industry do this is because they are so used to seeing Oil & Gas Journal on every coffee table in the land. (Yes, that’s an example of hyperbole.)
Our industry is big, big, big. However, the letters should be small.
Quote of the Day:
“If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 MPG.”
– Bill Gates, former CEO and current Chairman of Microsoft, b. 1955