Joseph Robertson - Oxford University Press - Thomas McCormack - Lynn Truss - Example - Thomas MacKellar - F Scott Fitzgerald -
86,090. The art of punctuation is of infinite consequence in writing as it contributes to the perspicuity, and consequently the beauty, of every composition. Joseph Robertson, essay on punctuation
86,097. If you take hyphens seriously, you will surely go mad. Oxford University Press in New York
86,091. ... to tango the reader into the pauses, inflections, continuities and connections that the spoken line would convey ... Punctuation to the writer is like anatomy to the artist: he learns the rules so he can knowledgeably and controlledly depart from them as art requires. Punctuation is a means, and its end is: helping the reader to hear, to follow. Thomas McCormack, The Fiction Editor, the Novel and the Novelist
86,092. Proper punctuation is both the sign and the cause of clear thinking. Lynn Truss, Eats, Shoots and Leaves
86,094. To those who care about punctuation, a sentence such as ‘Thank God its Friday’ (without the apostrophe) rouses feelings not only of despair but of violence. The confusion of the possessive ‘its’ (no apostrophe) with the contractive ‘it’s’ (with apostrophe) is an unequivocal signal of illiteracy and sets off a Pavlovian ‘kill’ response in the average stickler. ibid.
86,095. What the semicolon’s anxious supporters fret about is the tendency of contemporary writers to use a dash instead of a semicolon and thus precipitate the end of the world. Are they being alarmist? ibid.
86,093. ‘Verily, I say unto thee, This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise.’ cf. ‘Verily I say unto thee this day, Thou shalt be with me in Paradise.’ ibid. example variously attributed
86,096. Shortly after the invention of printing, the necessity of stops or pauses in sentences for the guidance of the reader produced the colon and full point. In process of time, the comma was added, which was then merely a perpendicular line, proportioned to the body of the letter. These three points were the only ones used until the close of the fifteenth century, when Aldo Manuccio gave a better shape to the comma, and added the semicolon; the comma denoting the shortest pause, the semicolon next, then the colon, and the full point terminating the sentence. The marks of interrogation and admiration were introduced many years after. Thomas MacKellar
90,013. Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke. F Scott Fitzgerald