The Rules of Grammar, unlike Captain Jack Sparrow’s “Pirate’s Code,” are not merely guidelines. Nor are the rules in existence to make your life more difficult. They enable readers to better understand your words, phrases, and sentences– or words, phrases and sentences depending on whether or not you are an advocate of the Oxford comma (if you don’t know what I mean by that side reference, perhaps you should look it up).
To dot the “i” and cross the “t” on this topic, look no further than Tuesday, 9/24/13: National Punctuation Day.
In its (not it’s) 10th year, the celebration offers a website with pictures, videos and suggestions to point out the correct and incorrect use of the apostrophe, brackets, colon, comma, dash, ellipsis, exclamation point, hyphen, parentheses, period, question mark, quotation mark and semicolon.
For example, look at the article that recounts the tale of the $2-million comma. It has more to do with a contract than with article writing, but the point of proper placement is made.
Essay and Twitter contests are also a part of the celebration website link (highlighted below).