on punctuationPosted: September 7, 2015
I pay careful attention to my grammar and punctuation here. I know that my blog is not error-free, but as my friend Tahoe Mom says, everyone needs an editor. Unfortunately, this individual blogger doesn’t have access to an editor. Still, I do my best.
Lately I have been thinking more than usual about punctuation. In particular there are three punctuation marks to which I pay particular attention: commas, explanation points, and semicolons.
- Commas — There was a time when I overused commas. I don’t believe I do so as much anymore. I do take care to remove commas that on second reading seem unnecessary.
- Exclamation Points — I am strict in limiting my use of exclamation points. I never allow more than one exclamation point in a paragraph, and for the most part, only one exclamation point per blog entry.
- Semicolons — Semicolons are tough. I rarely use them. American grammar dictates that semicolons link two independent clauses. (So the section on semicolons in Eats, Shoots and Leaves really grated on me, because British grammar allows a semicolon to separate a dependent clause and a related dependent clause.) It’s very rare in my writing that I find two independent clauses that are so closely related that they merit a semicolon. My rule is: when in doubt create two separate sentences. Which is almost always.
Those are my personal random thoughts on punctuation. That and $3.25 will get you a personal grande decaf cappuccino, dry. (I miss you Boston Pobble!)