Writing and punctuation

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Writing and punctuation

History[ edit ] The first writing systems were either logographic or syllabic —for example, Chinese and Mayan script —which do not necessarily require punctuation, especially spacing. This is because the entire morpheme or word is typically clustered within a single glyph, so spacing does not help as much to distinguish where one word ends and the other starts.

Punctuation and Mechanics -- Writing Lab

Disambiguation and emphasis can easily be communicated without punctuation by employing a separate written form distinct from the spoken form of the language that uses slightly different phraseology. Even today, written English differs subtly from spoken English because not all emphasis and disambiguation is possible to convey in print, even with punctuation.

Ancient Chinese classical texts were transmitted without punctuation. This worked as long as the subject matter was restricted to a limited range of topics e. Punctuation is historically an aid to reading aloud. The oldest known document using punctuation is the Mesha Stele 9th century BC.

This employs points between the words and horizontal strokes between the sense section as punctuation.

Writing & Punctuation: How to use COLONS & SEMICOLONS · engVid Semicolons, Colons, and Dashes Punctuation marks:
Punctuation Rules in English - Good Letter Writing Use a comma in a number. Use a comma to separate a city name from the state.

However, the Greeks were sporadically using punctuation marks consisting of vertically arranged dots—usually two dicolon or three tricolon —in around the 5th century b.

Greek playwrights such as Euripides and Aristophanes used symbols to distinguish the ends of phrases in written drama: Also, texts were sometimes laid out per capitula, where every sentence had its own separate line.

Diples were used, but by the late period these often degenerated into comma-shaped marks. It tells the reader how to hum the tune.

These were designed to be read aloud, so the copyists began to introduce a range of marks to aid the reader, including indentationvarious punctuation marks dipleparagraphossimplex ductusand an early version of initial capitals litterae notabiliores. Jerome and his colleagues, who made a translation of the Bible into Latinthe Vulgate ca.

Under his layout per cola et commata every sense-unit was indented and given its own line. This layout was solely used for biblical manuscripts during the 5th-9th centuries but was abandoned in favor of punctuation. In the 7th-8th centuries Irish and Anglo-Saxon scribes, whose native languages were not derived from Latinadded more visual cues to render texts more intelligible.


Irish scribes introduced the practice of word separation. Most common were the punctus, a comma-shaped mark, and a 7-shaped mark comma posituraoften used in combination. The same marks could be used in the margin to mark off quotations. In the late 8th century a different system emerged in France under the Carolingian dynasty.

Originally indicating how the voice should be modulated when chanting the liturgythe positurae migrated into any text meant to be read aloud, and then to all manuscripts. Positurae first reached England in the late 10th century probably during the Benedictine reform movement, but was not adopted until after the Norman conquest.

The original positurae were the punctus, punctus elevatus, [11] punctus versus, and punctus interrogativus, but a fifth symbol, the punctus flexus, was added in the 10th century to indicate a pause of a value between the punctus and punctus elevatus. Direct quotations were marked with marginal diples, as in Antiquity, but from at least the 12th century scribes also began entering diples sometimes double within the column of text.

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Printing-press era[ edit ] The amount of printed material and its readership began to increase after the invention of moveable type in Europe in the s.

As explained by writer and editor Lynne Truss"The rise of printing in the 14th and 15th centuries meant that a standard system of punctuation was urgently required.

They have been credited with popularizing the practice of ending sentences with the colon or full stopinventing the semicolonmaking occasional use of parentheses and creating the modern comma by lowering the virgule.

ByAldus Manutius the Younger was able to state that the main object of punctuation was the clarification of syntax. According to the edition of The American Printer, the importance of punctuation was noted in various sayings by children such as: Charles the First walked and talked Half an hour after his head was cut off.Punctuation Prepositions commonly confused words, numbers and capitalization.

Writing enhancement software should also explain why it marks things as incorrect and offer helpful suggestions to make your writing better. The best products work both online and in a word processor. Punctuation definition, the practice or system of using certain conventional marks or characters in writing or printing in order to separate elements and make the meaning clear, as in ending a sentence or separating clauses.

See more. Millions trust Grammarly’s free writing app to make their messages, documents, and posts clear, mistake-free, and effective. If you are writing an academic article incorrect punctuation will decrease the credibility of your article.

If you are writing a script, the reader will need to pause. The list of reasons to use correct punctuation in English goes on and on. Commas are my personal nemesis.

Writing and punctuation

Those tiny little marks on a page can completely change the sense of a sentence, as per the fantastic book, Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss. But how do we make the most of punctuation?Rachel Stout from.

How to Use English Punctuation Correctly (with Examples)

The general rule is that a sentence ends with only one terminal punctuation mark. There are three options: the period, the question mark, and the exclamation point..

Writing and punctuation

In less formal writing, an interrupted sentence may end with an em dash (—), or a sentence that trails off may end with an ellipsis ).

The Punctuation Guide