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Punctuation Infatuation

Posted on February 16, 2007 by Kathryn Regina.

Yesterday I polled my fellow BeTuitive bloggers on which punctuation mark is their "favorite." Surprisingly, everyone knew their answer right away.

  • I am partial to the comma, because it signifies breath and opens up areas of space within the sentence.
  • Sarah likes the hyphen because of the possibility of joining any two words together to create a conglomerate meaning.
  • Jeff likes the ellipses because it leaves the sentence open to a myriad possibilities.
  • Kevin likes the asterisk because of its unique look and function
  • Vinnie is enamored with the semi-colon. He loves the symmetry and balance of a sentence with two statements that exist independently but refer to each other.

At first glance, it may seem strange that punctuation is met with such enthusiasm. But when you think about it, punctuation is as essential to expression as any other element of language. Wikipedia gives the following example:

"In English, punctuation highly determines the meaning of a sentence. For example, 'Woman, without her man, is nothing.'    and 'Woman: without her, man is nothing.' have greatly different meanings."

Punctuation conveys tone, register, and personal style. So the next time you find yourself relishing an exclamation mark, or mooning over a hyphen, know that you're not alone. We love it too.

For punctuation tips:

I like Gary Olson's simple, clean website on basic punctuation

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February 16, 2007 | Permalink


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Punctuation Man is a guest on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's popular weekend national-language program, "And Sometimes Y."

The 30-minute program on May 5 will be devoted to punctuation. It will air from 11:30 a.m. to noon in every time zone in the United States and Canada on CBC Radio One. Internet listeners may go to http://www.cbc.ca/listen/index.html at 11:30 in their time zone and select a location from the list to hear the broadcast.

Posted by: WORLDVIEW | May 2, 2007 10:01:16 AM

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