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CommaFest: Fun with punctuation

cupcakes cupcakes

Scenes from the Feb. 7 Commafest, where cupcakes sweetened a review of punctuation and grammar sponsored by the Writing Center.

A festival of grammar not your idea of a good time? Well, you just haven't attended the right punctuation party. But scores of students and others did just that on Feb. 7, descending on the Kirner-Johnson Building for CommaFest, an event hosted by the Nesbitt-Johnston Writing Center to teach proper punctuation, offer a little entertainment and serve up 30 dozen (hey, we told you it was a big crowd) comma-frosted cupcakes.

Sharon Williams, director of the Writing Center, said that while CommaFest offered a broad review of basic punctuation and grammar, the comma deserved special treatment. "The comma is an important aspect of writing, and incorrect or missing punctuation can mislead the reader," she said.

Attendees were split into small groups, where they reviewed punctuation with Hamilton faculty members Katheryn Doran, Margaret Gentry, Betsy Jensen, John O'Neill, Peter Rabinowitz, Margie Thickstun and Ernest Williams. Writing Center tutors also participated in the event. Some teachers, including those in physics, sociology, biology and economics, required their classes attend, Williams said, but she emphasized that CommaFest was "not remedial; it's learning to punctuate thoughtfully."

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