While I was reading The Quotable Guide to Punctuation by Stephen Spector published by Oxford University Press I thought that yes, there is difference from teacher to teacher. This teacher is sublime in the explanation of concepts and all his love for grammar is abundantly shared with his readers in an understandable,engaging book.
There is to add that the author for intriguing much more readers in the various punctuation-chapters-cases picked up examples of quotes of a lot of VIPS. Johnny Depp, Billy Crystal, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Shakespeare, Woody Allen and so on will help us to understand much more clearly punctuation-concepts.
I am also a bit scared in reviewing this book, because I know that my english grammar is not yet still wonderfully correct, punctuation included, and I am italian. I self-learned most of the english I know on the road, and it means without an academic support.
I think I read somewhere that punctuation is a surplus sometimes, although punctuation is important for other reasons that at first we can't imagine.
When we speak, in fact, we tend to pause or accelerate, we are calm, anxious, we move our hands, we smile, we are serious, the tone of our voice, there are many signals that invariably let know to the other ones, a person or some people, what we want to transmit. The power of oral communication.
Story changes when we write, because we are alone and we will be read only later and so for describe our moods, our state, our emotions there is punctuation.
It serves as a contact, as a key for reaching other people with our articles, with a book, and that's why it is so important.
Commas the most common punctuation. Commas serve for a very brief pause.
I didn't know that existed also an Oxford Comma. It does.
A funny one:
I hate housework. You make the beds, you do the dishes, and six months later you have to start all over again. (Joan Rivers)
We will learn how to use commas with and and but but also with the so-called fanboys: For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yes, So.
An example from Tolkien:
Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick of anger (The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring.)
Colons and semi-colons are two important topics of this grammar-punctuation book.
I do use both of them, I confess: when someone told me that semi-colons were disappearing, I felt compassion. In our work they are not considered too much but as also colons, they're interruptions for create a bridge with what said before; semi-colons help to going on, to create new conceptual ideas without to lose the contact with what previously elaborated and written; real mates for writers and reporters.
We will understand when and how to use quotation marks. American and British journalists have different guidelines in this sense, but also when we should avoid to use exclamation points!!! not very loved.
Another controversial punctuation mark?
Dashes. They are more a fascination, a literary form of expression, empathizing the condition and mood of the writer. They can abruptly interrupt your writing, so that you'll restart from something new or they add more intensity to your written words.
This solid, beautiful book, with an encouraging and colored cover! will start to be your perfect guide for a best punctuation. I am sure that you'll keep it close to you for being inspired, refreshed by it.
The Quotable Guide to Punctuation is for students, writers, reporters, for people in love for writing and for all that ones curious of their language and learners of all ages.
I thank Oxford University Press for the physical copy of this book.
Anna Maria Polidori