Punctuation at Work: Simple Principles for Achieving Clarity and Good Style

Punctuation at Work: Simple Principles for Achieving Clarity and Good Style

by Richard Lauchman
     
 

ISBN-10: 081441494X

ISBN-13: 9780814414941

Pub. Date: 02/17/2010

Publisher: AMACOM Books

In the workplace, good punctuation is much more than a matter of correctness. It’s a matter of efficiency. Professionals who aren’t sure how to punctuate take more time than necessary to write, as they fret about the many inconsistent and contradictory rules they’ve picked up over the years. Good punctuation is also a

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Overview

In the workplace, good punctuation is much more than a matter of correctness. It’s a matter of efficiency. Professionals who aren’t sure how to punctuate take more time than necessary to write, as they fret about the many inconsistent and contradictory rules they’ve picked up over the years. Good punctuation is also a matter of courtesy: In workplace writing, a sentence should yield its meaning instantly, but when punctuation is haphazard, readers need to work to understand – or guess at – the writer’s intent. Weak punctuation results in time-wasting confusion, questions about professionalism, and some times even serious and costly miscommunication.

Without using the jargon of grammar — and providing 18 common sense principles to live by — Punctuation at Work shows busy professionals exactly how the marks can be used to make meaning clear and emphasize ideas. All the marks are covered, with hundreds of examples taken from today’s workplace. From hyphens and semicolons to brackets and quotation marks...all the way to ellipses (and the eternal struggle between “that” and “which”), this book explains the many ways punctuation makes things plain.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814414941
Publisher:
AMACOM Books
Publication date:
02/17/2010
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
1,192,840
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Introduction

Author’s Note

Definitions

What You Need to Know First: 19 Principles

1. Punctuation can’t rescue sense from nonsense.

2. The main reason to punctuate is to clarify your intent.

3. One of punctuation’s tasks is to supply the various signals given by the voice.

4. In workplace writing, a sentence should yield its meaning instantly.

5. Punctuation should be invisible.

6. Punctuation follows the arrangement of words.

7. Punctuation indicates how ideas relate.

8. Punctuation suggests how much emphasis an idea deserves.

9. Punctuation slows the reading.

10. Don’t count too much on context to make your meaning plain.

11. Know the difference between restrictive and non-restrictive expressions.

12. Respect the distinction between that and which.

13. When is punctuation optional?

14. Use the serial comma.

15. When do I separate adjectives with a comma?

16. Use the hyphen to clarify “improvised usage.”

17. Sometimes, no matter how you punctuate, a reader is going to think it’s wrong.

18. Feed your head.

19. When you see an odd usage, consider the source.

The Marks

• Apostrophe

• Brackets

• Colon

• Comma

• Dash

• Ellipsis

• Hyphen

• Parentheses

• Period

• Question Mark

• Quotation Marks

• Semicolon

• Slash

• Punctuating Common Sentence Structures

Appendix: How to List Ideas

Notes

Index

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