I saw a report in a newspaper yeaterday—and because it was in the newspaper, it must be true—that new blogs are being created at the average rate of 70,000 per day.

I don’t have a lot of faith that that many people were raised by the likes of my mother and father, and therefore learned the value of knowing the rules about stuff, like punctuation, and not using the word ‘stuff’ when a better one will suffice.

So here’s a little help for new bloggers:

One of the ‘rules’ that is too-seldom followed: for clarity, hyphenate any adjective-noun combination that is used as an adjective, or when the combination of words is, as a group, acting as an adjective. For instance, you should say small-business owner rather than small business owner, since one describes the size of the business, and the other the size of the owner.

Also… this is a good time to point out that an ellipsis only comes with three dots. If you mean to trail off… or if you’re pausing for a moment… the dot-dot-dot is considered an inividual punctuation mark, and it is called an elipisis. It is not a replacement for the function of a comma, as missused in the previous two sentences. An ellispsis, by definition, is a mark that indicates that something has been omitted, but what remains is satisfactory to contain the meaning, so…

See how that works? No need to hold down the period key for 9 seconds. Just three dots will do. Same goes for an exclamation point.

The absence of one does not mean you appear to lack conviction.

The addition of one merely raises your ‘voice’ and makes a point!

Adding more than one makes you sound dangerously manic!!!!! (If you think you need more than one exclamation point, you need to re-write your sentence, not add more punctuation).

That having been said, welcome to the Internet, you 70,000 new bloggers today. Where have you been?