Every one of us has heard the saying, “punctuation saves lives,” especially if you have a friend that is a writer or avid reader. It is true that punctuation can change the entire meaning of a sentence. For instance, you can say “let’s eat grandma,” which is terrifying, OR you can say “let’s eat, grandma.” The comma makes all the difference.
The same can often be said with money as well. What if you put the comma or the decimal in the wrong place when making a transfer or payment? Punctuation saves lives and money.
‘Punctuation Saves Lives’ as a Monetary Lesson
Of course the statement “punctuation saves lives” is a saying that is meant for writers and readers. Many “literature nerds” have made humorous memes on the internet with the saying. What many people don’t realize is that punctuation not only saves lives but can also save you a ton of money.
Not paying attention to where a comma or period goes when you are dealing with finance can cost you a pretty penny. For example, if you meant to send payment of $1,200.00 and instead send payment of $12,000.00 there could be a HUGE problem. You could overdraft your account or not be able to access your money for a while if a mistake like that is made.
Similarly, if you mean to send money for a bill that is $105.50 and you only send $10.50 you will likely incur a number of late fees and returned payment fees. It may also lead to a derogatory mark on your credit report (for late payment) or lead to the company cutting your services (if it is a utility bill).
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Other People That Save When Punctuation is Correct
Everyday individuals have to pay attention to punctuation when it comes to finance but what else is being save when punctuation is used correctly?
- Bankers: Bankers need to pay attention to punctuation daily. If a banker was to make a mistake with a comma or period it could impact a number of people’s finances. If the mistake is big enough it could also cost them their job.
- Accountants: Similar to bankers, accountants rely on attention to detail. If an accountant for a major company made a mistake in punctuation it could greatly impact the entire company’s finances.
- Analysts: Analysts also need to pay attention to commas and periods like other finance-based professions. Stock markets analysts could impact thousands of people’s investment decisions. One mistake could make a world of difference.
- Journalists: Like the first example in the article (“let’s eat, grandma), journalists need to pay attention to the commas, periods and other punctuation necessary in their stories. It could mean the difference between eating grandma and eating with grandma.
- Investors: One more group of people that heavily rely on punctuation (and may not realize it) are investors. If an investor accidentally invests $20,000 instead of $2,000 it can heavily impact their finances.
Do you have another way punctuation saves lives or money? Share them with us!
Photo: The Odyssey Online