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Why do we have to

use Punctuation?
A History of Conventions
Some Punctuation
Metaphors
• Stitches that hold the fabric of language
together
• Traffic signals of language
• A courtesy designed to help readers
understand a story without stumbling:
written manners.
A Brief History of
Punctuation
• In Roman and Medieval times, slaves read
aloud to illiterate masters; the comma was 1st
used to show when to take a breath
• During the European Enlightenment, people
became more individualistic and wanted to
read on their own and needed written cues
• Aided by the rise of the printing press; monks
no longer copied texts by hand
Aldus Manutius the Elder
• Father of Punctuation
• Italian printer in the 14th and 15th centuries
(1300s and 1400s)
• Invented italics, the semi colon, the colon
and the period

; : .
Today
• Books traveled and punctuation was
adopted into English
• The rules changed and developed and
today we have a set of American English
conventions different from Great Britain
• Conventions (rules) are debatable, but
must follow clear logic and only deviate
from conventions when necessary
Wrap UP
• Punctuation has not been around forever
• Punctuation follows the specific rules and
conventions of a specific group of speakers and
writers
• Writers only deviate from conventions when
necessary
• Punctuation gives readers a hand in
understanding
• Conventions are our common law for making
meaning.