Chapter 11: Punctuation:Learning Objectives1.Understand the need for good punctuation.2.Identify the uses of commas in sentences, letters, and addresses.3.Identify and correctly use semicolons.4.Identify and correctly use colons.5.Identify and correctly use quotes.6.Identify and correctly use apostrophes.7.Identify and correctly use parentheses.8.Identify and correctly use dashes.9.Identify and correctly use hyphens.10.Identify and correctly use periods, exclamation points, and question marks.11.Identify and correct punctuation errors in sentences.11.1 The Need for Good Punctuation:A. Properly punctuated writing will convey your meaning clearly.Consider the subtle shifts in meaning in the following sentences:•The client said he thought our manuscript was garbage.•The client said, “He thought our manuscript was garbage.”The first sentence reads as an indirect quote in which the client does not like the manuscript. But did heactually use the word “garbage”? (This would be alarming!) Or has the speaker paraphrased (andexaggerated) the client’s words?The second sentence reads as a direct quote from the client. But who is “he” in this sentence? Is it a thirdparty?B. It is important to know the rules of punctuation because word processing software does not catchall the errors in punctuation.While a computer can be a useful tools, it is better to be well acquainted with the rules of punctuation than toleave the thinking to the computer.Word processing software would not catch this because the sentences are not grammatically incorrect.However, the meanings of the sentences are not the same. Understanding punctuation will help you writewhat you mean, and in this case, could save a lot of confusion!Key Takeaways•Properly punctuated writing will convey your meaning clearly.•Know the rules of punctuation because word processing software does not catch all the errorsin punctuation.11.2: CommasA. The comma is a punctuation mark that indicates a pause in a sentence or a separation of things in alist.
Commas can be used in a variety of ways. Look at some of the following sentences to see how you might usea comma when writing a sentence.•Introductory word:Personally, I think the practice is helpful.•Lists:The barn, the tool shed, and the back porch were destroyed by the wind.•Coordinating adjectives:He was tired, hungry, and late.•Conjunctions in compound sentences:The bedroom door was closed, so the children knew theirmother was asleep.•Interrupting words:I knew where it was hidden, of course, but I wanted them to find it themselves.•Dates, addresses, greetings, and letters:The letter was postmarked December 8, 1945.B. You may notice a comma that appears near the beginning of the sentence, usually after a word orphrase. This comma lets the reader know where the introductory word or phrase ends and the mainsentence begins.