Author Topic: Punctuation  (Read 9633 times)

Offline prophetcharlesb

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Re: Punctuation
« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2006, 09:42:41 AM »
Yes Im familar with the history. Just finding out what your take is.

The moto comes from the six commandents. Good to our word or Be true to your word.

And the last part of that commandment is??

I wonder were the crows in Ireland came from?? :)
"A man who has never made a woman angry is a failure in life"

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Offline WritersWrite

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Re: Punctuation
« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2006, 09:49:49 AM »
Interesting debate...

As a professional actress/writer/coach this issue becomes quite important when wearing my actress hat.

Actors rely heavily on grammar for clues on where to breathe, where to pause, what emphasis to put on what words etc... These issues are all crucial to consider as an actor and grammar gives you a wealth of clues to answer these questions. It also aids in the overall delivery (especially when trying to capture what the original screenwriter/playwright/author had in mind when they put it to page).

Although tedious to get right, grammar has a great impact on the printed word and how it goes on to be delivered (either in our inner voice as we read, or out loud as we take the printed word, and give it life).

I believe the some of the most powerful prose is the kind that reads well aloud. It tends to capture the reality of how people actually speak and interact in 'real life' 

I like the notion of sensing grammar through an inner ear. I definitely hear grammar as I type (perhaps not always the 'right' grammar, but at the end of the day, within reason, isn't it a flexible art anyway?

If all brilliant writers strictly followed the rules where would we be?

I think it is great advice to read aloud when you are proofing work for punctuation (whether you are writer, editor or proof reader). It is a fabulous indicator when something is not quite right.

 With my actorís hat on I think Stop, or I'll shoot could go both ways depending on the character who is saying it, why itís being said and the seriousness of the line of dialogue.

Itís a gambit of possibilitiesÖand arenít we lucky for it!  ::)

Offline Mark with a k

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Re: Punctuation
« Reply #32 on: February 07, 2006, 05:12:45 PM »
When a comma doesn't get the job done and you know you'll alienate 255 million Americans if you use a semi colon, reach for the em dash. Em dash. Because nobody wants a full colon.

Offline orchid15

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Re: Punctuation
« Reply #33 on: February 07, 2006, 09:44:21 PM »
okay, Mark with a k,

You have me groaniing on the floor.  :-* Vey punny. ;D

"The beautiful part of writing is that you don't havto get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon." Robert Cormier

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Offline goldanon

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Re: Punctuation
« Reply #34 on: February 24, 2006, 03:20:36 AM »
This is one of the best threads going on in here. 

A little semi-colon is not going to alienate all 255 million Americans, only 2 million of them read - the rest of us won't even know what happened.  But the em dash is a good solution.

And I really like the subtle switch made by Writerswrite who says that we have to Stop, or he'll shoot...  We all know he was supposed to scream.

It's getting dangerous here...

Offline Doina

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Re: Punctuation
« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2006, 10:36:19 AM »
Ha Ha! It's getting dangerous and funny!

My little contribution to this punctuation thread:

Comma before 'which' -- rules are clear. But how many times I noticed NO comma before 'which' in many pubished authors (for ex. Nicholas Evens, Cassandra King) What I mean is that some times the comma is there and other times it is not. My computer check spell goes green every time I omit a comma before 'which.'

I also noticed that the use of comma is a matter of style. Evans uses less (sentence flows) William Gibson (Pattern recognition written in present tense, fast pace) uses more, to separate or emphasize certain words.

Anyway, thanks to all for useful input.


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Re: Punctuation
« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2006, 07:16:23 PM »
Hi folks,
 In one of his Discworld books, I think it's 'Pyramids', Terry Pratchett teaches us how the Comma can be used to alter the meaning of a sentence. Three young men, having just passed the test at the Assasin's Gulid, have been out on the town celebrating.  I can't remember the quote exactly, but ti runs something like:

'Three dead drunk assasins staggered towards Misbegot bridge, closely followed by four men, intent on inserting the significant comma'

Well, I liked it!  ;D


Offline Gltagaman

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Re: Punctuation
« Reply #37 on: February 27, 2006, 02:45:44 PM »
Hi All

I and my wife have this constant argument about the placement of commas. She will read a piece of my writing and demands a comma, or two. I put in the extra commas. Word doesn't seem to mind. I take the piece to my writing group and, in addition to reading it aloud. distribute hardcopy. Some group members complain that there are two many commas. One published sage, who belongs to the Society of Women Authors, advises that I should chop the piece into smaller sections, arguing that in that way, it can be read more easily.

I can't win!

Have Thinkpad will write

Offline Doina

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Re: Punctuation
« Reply #38 on: February 27, 2006, 09:09:53 PM »
Geoff, you can't win, I agree. Tell your friends from the writing group about Cormac McCarthy's All The Pretty Horses.

Here's a quote from the very first page of the novel. No commas. One paragraph. But it reads splendid. And you see and hear the train.

'As he turned to go he heard the train. He stopped and waited for it. He could feel it under his feet. It came boring out of the east like some ribald satellite of the coming sun howling and bellowing in the distance and the long light of the headlamp running through the tangled mesquite brakes and creating out of the night the endless fenceline down the dead straight right of way and sucking it back again wire and post mile on mile into the drakness after where the boilersmoke disbanded slowly along the faint new horizon and the sound came lagging and he stood sill holding his hat in his hands in the passing ground-shudder watching it till it was gone. Then he turned and went back to the house.'


No comment.

Oh yes, I have one: If I go to an editor with a sentence like this, he/she'll toss it at me with a disdainful snort and will probably yell at me: "Lady, learn grammar and punctuation first then try to write." Or something within this line.

No, Geoff, we can't win.

« Last Edit: February 27, 2006, 09:12:27 PM by Doina »