Isn’t worrying about commas and semi-colons for grammar freaks and pedantic teachers? Reply. Well! I’m glad you like my examples . Whoa! You share your most valuable tips. Totally with you where you say that the full stop holds more punctuational (is that a word?) Terry Gorry says. Proper punctuation is both the sign and the cause of clear thinking. Without punctuation we would get lost. Love how beautifully you illustrate this, Henneke. Commas separate items in a series. , A very informative article on powerful usage of punctuation. These humble marks in our writing matter more than I thought. , The question marks, too. And I adore the sketches. when I’m editing my draft. The real power comes from full stops. And who knows … perhaps the apostrophe can make an appearance in another post. It is also a good diagnostic tool for the teacher. Hi, Henneke. You demonstrated the use of the full stop and comma beautifully (your dislike of exclamation marks is well known ….). Fire up your tribe and jump-start their actions because your readers are waiting for you. I am guilty of overusing the exclamation mark. And you’re right . Appropriate punctuation acts like a set of 'road signs' to guide the reader through the ideas expressed in your sentences. I like the examples you have here. In the past, I had a lot of issues with punctuation. Fast question: In the section on question marks, you say: Hmm. Here’s an example of a sentence with 15 commas: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. Revised version uploaded 4th June, with a typo corrected! I’m doing a writing course at the moment, and my biggest issue is punctuation. I love the examples you’ve used especially the Dickens one. If you look at popular taglines or award-winning headlines, it’s easy to see how they could have been drab with only a slight difference in the wording or the punctuation. Some reading comprehension problems are related to misinterpreting punctuation. ? I’m glad you like my examples Reply. Did you intend it that way? Commas can be used before a coordinating conjunction that connects two independent clauses. Loved to read it. fist pump (exclamation mark, exclamation mark – which of course I never use) Yes (God, I want to use an exclamation mark here). in a while. Thank you for your lovely comment, Saleem. When ellipses are used properly, I think they convey intent very nicely. Instead of writing She’s popular! I like making up words. Start playing with commas, full stops, and question marks. Another useful post. Thanks for the reminder. I’ll rather have that though than an unending sentence that leaves one huffing and puffing. So, here’s to the power of the written word! Wonderful, educational, thoughtful piece. A lot of punctuation “rules” are personal preferences. Punctuation shows how the sentence should be read and makes the meaning clear. But who really cares about punctuation?!? And I thought I was alone. Some editors hate ellipses and find them unnecessary. I had no idea punctuation was so important. Well spotted! You share your thoughts. View US version . I have removed all the punctuation. In my experience, most language teachers focus on using language correctly. (Is that right to put one there? Thank you for your comment, Sherman. Jump-start their actions. A Rabble-Rouser’s Rules for Writing Kick-Ass Closing Paragraphs, How to Unleash a Surge of Email Subscribers from Your Guest Posts, Why you should stop searching for your authentic voice, How to “steal” your own unique blogging voice, http://www.lukeman.com/adashofstyle/read.htm. I appreciate it. Making a stand for the full stop. Thoroughly enjoyed this. Even old dogs can learn new tricks. At least now I know they can actually help. ~ A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens. To add stress to specific phrases. Why not? It doesn’t make you feel excited about your blogging journey. Yes, I hate the huffing-and-puffing sentences, too, when somewhere halfway you get lost wondering what’s connected to what, so you have to start again to figure out the meaning of everything. Linda says. Yes, punctuation is probably more important than most of us think. And … what about those other, more nuanced forms of punctuation: the ellipsis; the colon; the semi-colon; the em dash–? . Happy writing . I’m glad you’re feeling inspired and more confident. Also, sometimes podcasts ramble too much for my liking .

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