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Purposeful Punctuation: A Syntactic Guide to English Punctuation—Writing
Style 3 is available at Amazon.
is a sample pdf of Lesson
favorite recent American novel is Cormac McCarthy’s The Crossing.
In it, McCarthy doesn’t punctuate conventionally. Whether or not
it is a better novel because of its odd punctuation is debatable. There
are certainly times when a reader is confused because of his nonstandard
practice, but that is hardly the only cause of confusion in the work.
I like it anyway.
I am not a purist about punctuation, but as an editor and writer, I
see many good reasons for knowing and using conventional punctuation.
It is, first of all, an aid in clarity, showing proper relationship
between the structures of our sentences, letting the reader know when
one phrase, clause, or sentence ends and another begins.
Conventional punctuation is also a part of a long history of bookmaking,
of typesetting, of the appearance of the work on the page. Some of the
ways we punctuate seem counterintuitive. For example, why do commas
always go inside quotation marks? They do because early typesetters
liked the way it looked. Whatever the reason for the conventions we
have, we have them. We have a social compact to be conventional when
we are best served by doing so. At times, skillful and knowledgeable
writers have chosen to go their own way and have punctuated unconventionally
yet effectively in order to accomplish their purposes in particular
sentences. Few are as unconventional as McCarthy.
This book is one of my guides to writing style. It should be fully understandable
without a study of the other guides, but it will be much more easily
understood if the reader has knowledge of the English sentence structures
taught in Writing Style 1.
is a PDF of the cover of Purposeful Punctuation.
Cavalcade of Oilfield Novels
Novels of Ontario, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia
Oilfield Novels of Texas
With the Fox
A Guide to the Grammar of Successful Writers—
Writing Style 1
A Guide to Building Sentences With Syntax And Logic—
Writing Style 2
A Syntactic Guide to English Punctuation—
Writing Style 3
A Guide to Concise Prose
for Writers and Editors—Writing Style 4
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