reading without punctuation


It’s often those fundamentals that seperate mediocre from outstanding copy. Perhaps I can pick up the courage to write another post about the other punctuation marks some time. As a conductor can influence the experience of the song by manipulating its rhythm, so can punctuation influence the reading experience, bring out the best (or worst) in a text. Appropriate punctuation acts like a set of 'road signs' to guide the reader through the ideas expressed in your sentences. I know in some cases, I’ve made changes to the punctuation of one sentence three of four times . , The question marks, too. When ellipses are used properly, I think they convey intent very nicely. The two will never be the same, but this post shows how to make written prose as powerful as a well delivered speech…maybe even more so. Revised version uploaded 4th June, with a typo corrected! Knowing how to use punctuation properly is not just a matter of fussiness or pedantry. in a while. when I’m editing my draft. It made it okay for me to relax a little. Yes, I hate the huffing-and-puffing sentences, too, when somewhere halfway you get lost wondering what’s connected to what, so you have to start again to figure out the meaning of everything. I didn’t make that clear. Great job, as always, Henneke. And the over-usage of the exclamation mark . . Did you intend it that way? To add stress to specific phrases. Thank you for your lovely comment, Aditya. , Always enjoy your tips. You can see it here (about 5 paragraphs down) – Bottom line, grammar exists to assist in the communication of our message. Sentences are the building blocks used to construct written accounts. Take on any writing project with gusto. Thanks for the inspiration… and clarity on a topic that up to now seemed very academic. I give the extract without punctuation to students to develop better habits when editing. That really does help engage readers and is my favourite punctuation mark too. Happy writing, Julian! The comma is my favourite punctuation too. I probably use far too many commas for your liking . Here’s an authoritative opening paragraph without question marks: Most bloggers wish they’d gain more email subscribers when they publish guest posts. by Henneke | 84 enchanting opinions, add yours? Without punctuation we would get lost. Tes Global Ltd is Try reading a text without punctuation… that’s a real struggle! for details. You polish your writing until each word shimmers and shines. Learn how I can help you. Thank you so much for adding that, Katharine. . I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. It’s forgotten and useless. You’re a mentor for your readers, a chief of your village, a leader of your tribe. As a grammar stickler and a punctuation pedant, I must say, you had me at “Truss”. But that’s untrue. . I agonise over punctuation, which is why it takes me three weeks to write a first draft of anything. Thoroughly enjoyed this. But if you ever feel disappointed with your guest post performance, then follow the tips below to get more email subscribers. Follow proven templates for specific writing tasks, practice your skills, and get professional feedback so you become a confident business writer. Good writers choose their words with piercing precision so they don’t need to opt for lazy exclamation marks. Thanks once again for this fun to read and easy to implement post, Henneke. To become more authoritative and inspirational. I first read that quote from Oscar Wilde about 20 years ago and my immediate reaction was. Here’s an alternative version with more full stops: Your job as a blogger is not simply to write tutorials. registered in England (Company No 02017289) with its registered office at 26 Red Lion What a fabulous post. Reply. Then, omitting the exclamation point truly relays the point. I constantly marvel at an ESL learner teaching English speakers their own language. I will certainly use these marks in my writing, with careful placement. But who really cares about punctuation?!? Happy writing, Jeanette! I find it supports readability, so I quite like to have it. Terry Gorry says. If the full stop is a sign of power and authority, then the comma is its quiet sister, creating a soft pause rather than an abrupt end. You never disappoint, there’s always something to learn. Thank you for your comment, Sherman. Commas separate items in a series. Fire up your tribe and jump-start their actions because your readers are waiting for you. Making a stand for the full stop. PS Thank you to Véronique for inspiring this post. Thanks, Henneke. “Overused” punctuation can work. So, I’m fine with that exclamation mark . You must think about writing proper sentences, choosing the right words, and avoiding spelling mistakes. If the question mark engages, the exclamation mark repels. We can build suspense. Henneke says. That’s a good catch. – Tom PS., I wonder if the emoticons are new punctuation marks? I had no idea punctuation was so important. Yeah, it’s an unnecessary comma. In my experience, most language teachers focus on using language correctly. Creating the illustrations was fun! It can improve speed of understanding and quality of understanding. Take care. Loved to read it. I usually use this with year 6 small groups so we can discuss any tricky punctuation. I'd like to receive the free email course. Some editors hate ellipses and find them unnecessary. Great post, Henneke. Knowing when a sentence is asking a question, demonstrating fear or excitement, or listing grocery items separated by commas is an important step for beginning readers. Stop thinking punctuation is for grammar sticklers and pedants. But you have put it in a really fun and enjoyable way. But get it right and you can boost the readability of your copy tremendously. Here’s an example of a sentence with 15 commas: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. Love how beautifully you illustrate this, Henneke. I appreciate it. It’s so overused!!! Proper use of punctuation can only portray the right intention of any message. But be careful. Punctuation adds a road map to your writing. I have removed all the punctuation. Play around with commas and full stops in your writing. That sentence from Dickens is crazy in a nice way, isn’t it? I would definitely abuse the exclamation mark when I didn’t have to. I’m going to try to use them more in my writing. Reading fluency and comprehension are affected by how a reader interprets and uses punctuation marks. I remember someone telling me that full stops were a bad thing. Thanks for the Punctuation Guide Henneke and cool use of Henrietta? You are just getting more brilliant every time you write. Proper punctuation is both the sign and the cause of clear thinking. I’m glad you’re finding my tips useful. It is also a good diagnostic tool for the teacher. . Punctuation does matter, as you’ve shown here. I try to add more questions within my posts now to include my readers more on the topic. Especially when using the question mark. You share your most valuable tips. I was recently thinking about the same topic. Wonderful, educational, thoughtful piece. Delete! I was itching to slide down here and exclaim about the darling “apostro-tree”. You demonstrated the use of the full stop and comma beautifully (your dislike of exclamation marks is well known ….). Conditions. Some reading comprehension problems are related to misinterpreting punctuation. Well! A useful tip that’s not implemented is like a riveting book that’s never opened. Beyond just memorizing the rules and uses of a punctuation mark, discuss punctuation within your reading classrooms, too. With words, we’re not just imparting meaning, we’re signalling intentions. Many writers think the exclamation mark adds power to their voice. I give the extract without punctuation to students to develop better habits when editing. I’m glad to hear you like the question mark, too! This resource is designed for UK teachers. Great stuff! Thanks Henneke. So, here’s to the power of the written word! Thank you Henneke, now I have learnt the usage of these punctuation marks! Wonderful, educational, thoughtful piece. Thanks for sharing. Punctuation really seems like beginners’ stuff. Rehoming or Reusing Your Child's Used Books. That’s what it’s all about. . Thank you, Cathy. Read your text aloud, and notice how your voice changes. I have written about overuse of exclamations on Jim Bessey’s site, and would like to add clarification about its use: Yes, as you said, the clipped and true exclamation needs the exclamation mark. I’m not a punctuation stickler (but I do appreciate proper use of the apostrophe ). 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