Ramblings: Punctuation Matters

People say I don’t care about punctuation.

Wait… that’s not right.

People, say I, don’t care about punctuation.

Yeah, that’s much better.

Punctuation matters. A lot. One of the finest examples of its importance is the simple phrase ‘Let’s eat, Grandma.‘ If you omit the comma, it becomes the slightly more disturbing ‘Let’s eat Grandma.‘ Even that slight error in my opening sentence completely reversed what I was saying.

Have a little read of the following I wrote:

It was the day of the field trip. Outside the school was the coach, filled with excited young children, gleefully munching on sweets and chocolate bars. The teacher stood at the front, calling the pupils names, their teeth stained brown already from the treats. Each child answered their name. With a “Yes,” Mr Daniels the engine started up and the coach began to pull away.

Mr Daniels took his seat in the lap of his teaching assistant. Was a pile of activity packs, one each plus spares, enough for the inevitable misplacement of at least half of the pupils?

There are clearly some sentences there that are either nonsense or just plain silly. Now read the following:

It was the day of the field trip. Outside the school was the coach, filled with excited young children gleefully munching on sweets and chocolate bars. The teacher stood at the front, calling the pupils’ names. Their teeth stained brown already from the treats, each child answered their name with a “Yes, Mr Daniels.” The engine started up and the coach began to pull away.

Mr Daniels took his seat. In the lap of his teaching assistant was a pile of activity packs. One each plus spares; enough for the inevitable misplacement of at least half of the pupils’.

As you should have noticed, it is the exact same story. However, the punctuation and sentence breaks have been changed. And it is far more sensible than the first.

See how much of a difference punctuation can make? Please, take care.

 

I’m hungry now. I’m off to eat my friends!

I mean, I’m off to eat, my friends!


For further reading, have a look here.

For the sake of full disclosure, I used some of their examples as a basis for my own. 🙂

Advertisements

6 Comments

  1. Ooooo gave me chills. You are so right. Being thoughtful and precise with words and punctuation is important because they are the foundation of the big picture.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I once read that a writer’s editor (I think it was Hemingway?) told him he doesn’t use enough commas. So he printed a full page of commas and sent it to his editor, saying: put them wherever you may please.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s