Monday, June 21, 2010

OK, so punctuation is important

Pedant that I am, this is the first of (I'm sure many) observations on the use of grammar. Deal with it! Some people seem to think that sweating the correct use of punctuation is a waste of time. Someone recently wrote a great book just on punctuation. I don't recall the title or the author, but when I do, I will update this post. Meantime, consider the importance of the double (or single, if that's your preference) quote in these examples:
The word processor came into use around 1910.
The word "processor" came into use around 1910.
One's a lie, one's the truth. See, those double quotes do make a difference!

June 22: The book mentioned above is Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss. Remove the comma from that title - makes a difference, huh? (It's the punchline of a joke about a panda who goes into a diner and... well, I'm sure you can figure it out! There's also a dirtier version of the joke - substitute "roots" for "eats.")

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