Punctuation Matters: Small changes can change the whole meaning

Whenever I read a popular thread title on the forum, I add the punctuation in my head that throws the whole thing off. To be clear, the thread title is correct. I’m adding punctuation in my head that throws it off. In my head, this:

Anyone Fancy playing Hangman?

gets mistranslated into:

Anyone fancy, playing Hangman?

then I think to myself. You have to be fancy to play Hangman?

That got me wondering about other punctuation changes that change everything.

There’s a whole book on the subject called Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

Here are some examples where punctuation matters.





What are some other examples of where punctuation matters?

Or the Australian version

I inspired a thread :grinning::grinning:

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Panda: Eats, shoots, and leaves has its Australian equivalent
Wombat: eats, roots,and leaves
Which might not have any alternative meaning for non Australians but is quite funny here ( google roots: Australian slang)

There is also the often used example: let’s eat Grandma

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Oops Bruce beat me to it.

I love it when the Yanks say, “I’m rooting for you!” Always worth a round of applause and admiration for their dedication.

Yes, I agree. Standards need to be improved.

There’s a current television advert for Cadburys chocolate bar, that states "…there’s a pint and a half ( of milk) in everyone, instead of “every one”.

Also, other adverts that state “…always keep away from children”, sounds like a personal comment directly aimed at ME, rather than the product that is being advertised should be kept away from young children.

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. . . Or Grandma eats, shoots and leaves!

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Urgh! Don’t get me started on punctuation, or lack of it. How many times have I tried to read a post on social media, a whole paragraph without a single comma or full stop. I try to read it in my head and then feel breathless! Or many is the time I skip past it, as it takes too much energy to try.


I’m pretty sure that is not a spelling error but part of the advertising message - it is a deliberate word play based on the old strap line of “a glass and a half in every bar” - but their new Ads focus on the overflowing milk of human kindness - their current ads show how kind people can be and each Ad illustrates that extra spirit of kindness people show to each other - hence the change to the strap line -
“There’s a glass and a half in everyone”