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Punctuation and Personal Style

Methodology, Week 9 (Thursday)

The Main Punctuation

Purpose Of Punctuation In Writing
To give written words the intended meaning and expression of the spoken words.

Converting spoken words into a written form is an important process. If you fail to convey the exact intended meaning of what someone said you are essentially conveying the message in a different form - and that may have consequences! Consider the famous story of Mrs. Abington, the actress who played in the first performance of Sheridan School for Scandal. After the show she found a note, in her dressing room, left by her rival actress Mary Robinson. The note said the following: “

Important Points
1) As just mentioned, an alteration in the punctuation may

change the meaning of a sentence. Example: A1) “Your hand, Anne. B2) “Your hand, Anne?” These two phrases have different meaning which are indicated by the punctuation marks. In spoken language, phrase A1 would indicate a statement while phrase B2 is an inquiry. In written language, if you don’t convey meaning correctly by using the appropriate punctuation - and at the right position in the sentence - you will undoubtedly convey a different idea.

Important Points
2) Good punctuation shows that a student or a writer has a Good knowledge of grammatical structure. And to understand the latter, you should obviously understand a simple sentence, a complex sentence and the meaning of each punctuation mark and where to use them. 3) It is sometimes difficult for Korean students to feel the true importance of punctuation because 1) punctuation points are not really important for Korean writers and 2) it is possible to be a grammatical writer in English without understanding a lot about punctuation marks. However, clear punctuation is important because it can help you move from being an “ok” English writer

Important Points
4) No exact rules to guide the usage of punctuation. No two writers will ever punctuate a passage or piece of writing in the same manner. Just like an artist, punctuation varies with the author’s taste and style (or creativity). But they will all conform to general principles to convey the same meaning. You can choose whether to use a semicolon or a comma sometimes – but you must always start a sentence with a capital letter and end with a full stop (or a question or exclamation point). Here are some things you have no little choice about:

General Usage
Comma: There are a number of different uses for commas in English. Commas are used to:

- Separate a list of items. This is one of the most common uses of a comma. Notice that a comma is included before the conjunction 'and' & ‘but’ which comes before the final element of a list. This (called an Oxford comma, is an American usage and is not standard in British writing). Examples: I like reading, listening to music, taking

General usage
Comma, continued: to introduce a direct quote (although a colon also works in this way). Examples: The boy said, "My father is often away during the week on business trips." Question Mark: The question mark is used at the end of a question. Examples: Where do you live? How long have they been studying? Exclamation Point: The exclamation point is used at the end of a sentence to indicate great surprise. It is also used for

General usage
Semicolon: There are two uses for a semicolon in English. Semicolons are used to: - Separate two independent clauses. One or both of the clauses are short and the ideas expressed are usually very similar. Examples: He loves studying; He can't get enough of school. - To separate groups of words that are themselves separated by commas. Examples: I took a holiday and played golf, which I love; read a lot, which I needed to do; and slept late, which I hadn't done for quite a while.

General usage
Colon : A colon can be used for two purposes: - To provide additional details and explanation. Examples: He had many reasons for joining the club: to get in shape, to make new friends, to lose some weight, and to get out of the house. - To introduce a direct quote (a comma can also be used in this situation). Examples: He announced to his

The apostrophe is the most commonly mixed up punctuation mark – even by English writers. The uses of the apostrophe are as follows: - To indicate omitted letters. Example: the apostrophe represents IT IS, with the second “i” omitted. This is a very important point because many people (native English speakers) do not use the apostrophe correctly in this way and will make errors like “its all over” or, the hyper correct, “shirt’s on sale”. - Indicates a possessive in a singular noun. Example: The boy’s hat - Indicates time or quantity. Example: in one week’s time. Two weeks’ notice.

General usage
- Features in Irish names, such as O’Neil and O’Casey. - Indicates the plural of letters. Example: how many m’s are in “omit”? Also indicate the plurals of some words. Example: what the do’s and don’t’s of writing? There are too many sentences starting with and’s and but’s these days aren’t there?* …..

Activity 1: Change the meaning
1) The travel agent called Joan Gordon Ellen Carter and me.
c) d) e) How many people did the travel agent call? Re-write the sentence to show that the agent called five people. Re-write the sentence to show that the agent called three people.

2) Roger was born in France on September 7, 1970 he went to Canada to work with his brother.
i) j) k) What happened on September 7, 1970? Re-write the sentence to show when Roger was born. Re-write the sentence to show when Roger went to Canada.

Activity 2:Punctuation riddle
Joe had a ticket for a trip from Chicago to Toronto. Add punctuation to each paragraph to make it true.
3) Joe walked into the plane before the flight attendant closed the door he walked out when the plane landed where was Joe he was in Toronto. 5) Joe walked into the plane before the flight attendant closed the door he walked out when the plane landed where was Joe he was still in Chicago.

Activity 3: run-on sentences
In one of our earlier classes (the grammar lesson) we talked about a run-on sentence. Can you remember what a run-on sentence is – and is not? Here is a new editing symbol: ( …….. )R. Re-write the run-ons:
2) The geography in my hometown is interesting the land to the east is flat and good for farming to the west it is hilly and rocky. 3) The common occupations in my hometown are university employee and government worker many people also make electronic equipment others sell insurance or work in stores.

Activity 4: read and punctuate

Make groups of 3 or 4. Assign a “reader” and give each group an article or poem to read. Have group mates listen and add punctuation as they hear the reader's rhythm and intonation. Ask them to listen for pauses and full stops. When they finish, they should compare and discuss. It’s possible that some students may make choices that reflect valid punctuation rules – but are not in the text. These stylistic choices are important for them to note as well. As a follow-up, if you have time, you can talk about (or TPS) the differences or similarities between different genres. The poem as compared to the bio, for example.