Punctuation at Work

Simple Principles for Achieving Clarity and Good Style

 Punctuation at Work

Author: Richard Lauchman
Pub Date: February 2010
Print Edition: $13.95
Print ISBN: 9780814414941
Page Count: 208
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814414958

Buy the book:

Buy the book thru Barnes and Noble. Buy the book thru AMAZON. Buy the book thru indiebound. Buy the eBook.
See other vendors.

Table of Contents



Author’s Note


What You Need to Know First: 19 Principles

1. Punctuation can’t rescue sense from nonsense.

2. The main reason to punctuate is to clarify your intent.

3. One of punctuation’s tasks is to supply the various signals given by the voice.

4. In workplace writing, a sentence should yield its meaning instantly.

5. Punctuation should be invisible.

6. Punctuation follows the arrangement of words.

7. Punctuation indicates how ideas relate.

8. Punctuation suggests how much emphasis an idea deserves.

9. Punctuation slows the reading.

10. Don’t count too much on context to make your meaning plain.

11. Know the difference between restrictive and non-restrictive expressions.

12. Respect the distinction between that and which.

13. When is punctuation optional?

14. Use the serial comma.

15. When do I separate adjectives with a comma?

16. Use the hyphen to clarify “improvised usage.”

17. Sometimes, no matter how you punctuate, a reader is going to think it’s wrong.

18. Feed your head.

19. When you see an odd usage, consider the source.

The Marks

• Apostrophe

• Brackets

• Colon

• Comma

• Dash

• Ellipsis

• Hyphen

• Parentheses

• Period

• Question Mark

• Quotation Marks

• Semicolon

• Slash

• Punctuating Common Sentence Structures

Appendix: How to List Ideas



Search the full text of this book


Order Now!

For single copy purchases of any AMACOM title, you can connect directly to the online retailer of your choice, from the list below, to buy the title you have selected. Most of our links will take you directly to that title on the site, making your shopping experience easier. You can also visit your local retailer, and if the book is not on their shelves they can special order it for you.

Retailers: Please contact us to change or add a listing.

Buying in Bulk?

We have very competitive discounts starting at 5 copies, as well as personal service, for bulk orders. Simply contact our Special Sales Department. Call 800-250-5308 or 212-903-8420 and ask for Special Sales. You can also email: SpecSlsWeb@amanet.org