To comma or not to comma!

Possibly to stop or not to stop, to comma or not to comma are few of the significant questions which every writer face!  Ouch all those silly tiny winy marks littering the page; can’t we simply eliminate them? And the answer is a resounding ‘NO’

Needless to say, correct punctuation is relevant and is also necessary in conveying your story to the reader. Believe it or not, correct punctuation is as important as the story itself. In fact, forgotten and incorrect punctuation can simply distract your readers while pulling them out of your write up!

Yes, we learned them in school grade and as soon as we got older, punctuation started losing its significance and at some point of time it just didn’t seem as important! Chat lingo and abbreviations have made their way into our writings thus altering what is considered as “correct” writing. Get it straight here, punctuation is still as important as it was then in our school days.

Try reading something without enough of it, and see whether you can untangle some of the staggering confusions which results. According to the Oxford Dictionary “The act of punctuating, specifically the act or practice of using standardized marks in writing and printing to separate sentences or sentence elements or to make the meaning clearer.”

Punctuating has one significant purpose and that is to make written material clear and understandable.  When one reads the reader actually depend on punctuation to mentally ‘hear’ the right pauses and also the correct tone of voice.

Here are quick punctuation tips:

  • Spacing after punctuation: One space is required after every punctuation mark (period, exclamation mark, question mark, colon, semicolon, commas, etc.) This is also applicable after bullets and numbers.
  • Stay away from using excessive punctuation:   Did you put 5 exclamations!!!!! Believe it or not this won’t create a greater sense of urgency or strong emotion, especially in formal writing.
  • Periods and commas always go inside of quotation marks. For instance, “I think you’re great.”
  • There is never a space before a period or before a comma.
  • When using dashes, use two in a row. Example: Punctuation — 10 Rules
  • Use no spaces on either side of a hyphen. Example: We need twenty-five boxes.
  • Use a question mark only after a direct question. Example: Can I ask you a question?
  • Use parentheses to enclose words or figures that clarify.
  • If the last word in a sentence ends in a period, do not follow it with another period. Example: I know that C.E.O. He is my boss.