6 punctuation pointers

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Rkcapps
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6 punctuation pointers

Postby Rkcapps » Sat, 19 Aug 2017 12:44 pm


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HipNip
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Re: 6 punctuation pointers

Postby HipNip » Sat, 25 Nov 2017 10:36 pm

Thanks for this. You have posted a lot of helpful and interesting things.

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Rkcapps
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Re: 6 punctuation pointers

Postby Rkcapps » Sun, 26 Nov 2017 2:36 am

You're welcome! I try :)

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Rath Darkblade
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Re: 6 punctuation pointers

Postby Rath Darkblade » Tue, 28 Nov 2017 11:56 am

Hmmm. These are all common-sense and very good advice. :)

Personally, while I keep in mind the rules in that article, I use punctuation in order to break sentences into easily digestible chunks. What I mean is this:

When you read a sentence out loud, you have to pause for breath every so often - so if you're not sure, treat punctuation as a place to breathe. :) A comma can be used as a short breath, a full stop as a longer one, a hyphen or em dash as a breath about as long as a full stop, and so on.

It's like rests in music: when performing music, a musician sometimes has to rest their instrument (i.e. not play), for various reasons. A singer rests their voice so that they can come in with a full breath again, the violinists rest their violins so that the rest of the orchestra can be heard more fully, etc. How long the rest is depends on what's written on the page, but the rest is usually a semi-breve (i.e. 4 beats), a minim (2 beats), a crotchet (1 beat) or a quaver (half-a-beat). Sometimes the rests are even longer or even shorter, but these are the most common.

So, it's possible to translate these rests into punctuation. A comma is a short rest - perhaps one beat (e.g. when you read "I'd like some eggs, milk, and bread", your voice rests for a little while between the words "eggs" and "milk", and between "milk" and "and". Try it and see). ;) A question mark or an exclamation mark are similarly one beat. On the other hand, a full stop or an em dash could be two beats, because you pause for longer after a full stop, in order to get your breath back. A new paragraph can be 3 beats, 4 beats, or however long you like. ;) Try reading things out loud and you'll see what I mean. With practice, you'll be able to do this when you're writing too.

Finally, why does this matter? Because with practice, you'll be able to insert punctuation where it's needed without even thinking about it. (Yay!) ;)
There is nothing wrong with nepotism, so long as you keep it all in the family. (Winston Churchill)

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Rkcapps
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Re: 6 punctuation pointers

Postby Rkcapps » Tue, 28 Nov 2017 5:17 pm

Thanks for that, Rath! I know I do need to hear and really concentrate on the pauses in my head because I can't talk but now I might train myself to recognise the pauses as breaths :)

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Josilver
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Re: 6 punctuation pointers

Postby Josilver » Tue, 28 Nov 2017 6:03 pm

I totally agree Rath. If you cant read it aloud without taking a breath, it needs punctuation. Ive worked with university professors who regularly write sentences of over 100 words - no commas.

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Rath Darkblade
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Re: 6 punctuation pointers

Postby Rath Darkblade » Wed, 29 Nov 2017 6:18 pm

Josilver wrote:I totally agree Rath. If you cant read it aloud without taking a breath, it needs punctuation. Ive worked with university professors who regularly write sentences of over 100 words - no commas.


No commas? :shock: Or any other pause? How do they deliver these sentences, then? A run-on sentence is one of the least comprehensible things that you can commit to paper.

On the other hand, run-on sentences can be hilarious - for instance, witness Sir Humphrey Appleby's speeches from "Yes Minister" and "Yes Prime Minister". ;) Here is one example - the PM is crowing about his wonderful Question Time at the House of Commons, but Sir Humphrey is anxious because the PM's answer was not exactly true. Watch and enjoy. :)

(And if you'd like a transcript - here you go:

Hacker: It was the one question today to which I could give a clear, simple, straightforward, honest answer.

Sir Humphrey: Unfortunately, although the answer was indeed clear, simple, and straightforward, there is some difficulty in justifiably assigning to it the fourth of the epithets you applied to the statement (i.e. honesty -Ed.), inasmuch as the precise correlation between the information you communicated and the facts, insofar as they can be determined and demonstrated, is such as to cause epistemological problems of sufficient magnitude as to lay upon the logical and semantic resources of the English language a heavier burden than they can reasonably be expected to bear.

Hacker: Epistemological?! What are you talking about?

Sir Humphrey: You told a lie.

Hacker: [outraged] A lie?!

Sir Humphrey: A lie.

Hacker: What do you mean, a lie?

Sir Humphrey: I mean you… lied. Yes, I know this is a difficult concept to get across to a politician. You… ah yes, you did not tell the truth.

Classic!) :)
There is nothing wrong with nepotism, so long as you keep it all in the family. (Winston Churchill)


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