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

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Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Introduction

Author’s Note

Definitions

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

Notes

Index

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