Best 56 of Punctuation quotes - MyQuotes
George D. Prentice
Many writers profess great exactness in punctuation who never yet made a point.
As someone who sends texts messages more or less non-stop, I enjoy one particular aspect of texting more than anything else: that it is possible to sit in a crowded railway carriage laboriously spelling out quite long words in full, and using an enormous amount of punctuation, without anyone being aware of how outrageously subversive I am being.
In France, we leave a single space before and after most punctuation marks. In England, there are generally no spaces before punctuation, and one inserts a double space between sentences.
Clicking on "send" has its limitations as a system of subtle communication. Which is why, of course, people use so many dashes and italics and capitals ("I AM joking!") to compensate. That's why they came up with the emoticon, too—the emoticon being the greatest (or most desperate, depending how you look at it) advance in punctuation since the question mark in the reign of Charlemagne. You will know all about emoticons. Emoticons are the proper name for smileys. And a smiley is, famously, this: :—) Forget the idea of selecting the right words in the right order and channelling the reader's attention by means of artful pointing. Just add the right emoticon to your email and everyone will know what self-expressive effect you thought you kind-of had in mind. Anyone interested in punctuation has a dual reason to feel aggrieved about smileys, because not only are they a paltry substitute for expressing oneself properly; they are also designed by people who evidently thought the punctuation marks on the standard keyboard cried out for an ornamental function. What's this dot-on-top-of-a-dot thing for? What earthly good is it? Well, if you look at it sideways, it could be a pair of eyes. What's this curvy thing for? It's a mouth, look! Hey, I think we're on to something. :—( Now it's sad! ;—) It looks like it's winking! :—r It looks like it's sticking its tongue out! The permutations may be endless: :~/ mixed up! <:—) dunce! :—[ pouting! :—O surprise! Well, that's enough. I've just spotted a third reason to loathe emoticons, which is that when they pass from fashion (and I do hope they already have), future generations will associate punctuation marks with an outmoded and rather primitive graphic pastime and despise them all the more. "Why do they still have all these keys with things like dots and spots and eyes and mouths and things?" they will grumble. "Nobody does smileys any more.
Academics love the semicolon; their hankering after logic demands a division which is more emphatic than a comma, but not quite as absolute a demarcation as a full stop.
Let grammar, punctuation, and spelling into your life! Even the most energetic and wonderful mess has to be turned into sentences.
Don’t cross out. (That is editing as you write. Even if you write something you didn’t mean to write, leave it.) Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar. (Don’t even care about staying within the margins and lines on the page.) Lose control. Don’t think. Don’t get logical. Go for the jugular. (If something comes up in your writing that is scary or naked, dive right into it. It probably has lots of energy.)
Here is an appropriate use of the exclamation mark: The last thing he expected when the elevator door opened was the snarling tiger that leapt at him. "Ahhhhh!" ... In almost all situations that do not involve immediate physical danger or great surprise, you should think twice before using an exclamation mark. If you have thought twice and the exclamation mark is still there, think about it three times, or however many times it takes until you delete it.
I hear there are now Knightsbridge clinics offering semicolonic irrigation – but for many it may be too late.
Edgar Allan Poe
The writer who neglects punctuation, or mispunctuates, is liable to be misunderstood for the want of merely a comma, it often occurs that an axiom appears a paradox, or that a sarcasm is converted into a sermonoid.
He lives at Balbec?” crooned the Baron in a tone so far from interrogatory that it is regrettable that the written language does not possess a sign other than the question mark to end such apparently unquestioning remarks. It is true that such a sign would be of little use except to M. de Charlus.
A panda walks into a cafe. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air. "Why?" asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife annual and tosses it over his shoulder. "I'm a panda," he says, at the door. "Look it up." The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation. Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.
There is an underlying rhythm to all text. Sentences crashing fall like the waves of the sea, and work unconsciously on the reader. Punctuation is the music of language. As a conductor can influence the experience of the song by manipulating its rhythm, so can punctuation influence the reading experience, bring out the best (or worst) in a text. By controlling the speed of a text, punctuation dictates how it should be read. A delicate world of punctuation lives just beneath the surface of your work, like a world of microorganisms living in a pond. They are missed by the naked eye, but if you use a microscope you will find a exist, and that the pond is, in fact, teeming with life. This book will teach you to become sensitive to this habitat. The more you do, the greater the likelihood of your crafting a finer work in every respect. Conversely the more you turn a blind eye, the greater the likelihood of your creating a cacophonous text and of your being misread.
Kelli Jae Baeli
Faulkner had an egg carton filled with periods and throughout his writing career, used nearly all of them.
Apparently, my hopes, dreams and aspirations were no match against my poor spelling, punctuation and grammar.
You expect death to bring some new form of punctuation, but there it is: one small gasp. Period.
A. J. Beirens
From history books one should at best believe the punctuation. The rest is uncertain, incomplete, distorted, exaggerated or even completely invented.
Whatever it is that you know, or that you don’t know, tell me about it. We can exchange tirades. The comma is my favorite piece of punctuation and I’ve got all night.
When speaking aloud, you punctuate constantly — with body language. Your listener hears commas, dashes, question marks, exclamation points, quotation marks as you shout, whisper, pause, wave your arms, roll your eyes, wrinkle your brow. In writing, punctuation plays the role of body language. It helps readers hear the way you want to be heard.
Nanette L. Avery
Punctuation marks are like road signs; without them we just may get lost...
In music, the punctuation is absolutely strict, the bars and rests are absolutely defined. But our punctuation cannot be quite strict, because we have to relate it to the audience. In other words we are continually changing the score.
Ursula K. Le Guin
I use a whole lot of half-assed semicolons; there was one of them just now; that was a semicolon after 'semicolons,' and another one after 'now.
Punctuation is a fabulous tool for controlling your reader - you even get to control where they breathe. That's what I call power!
Why, if there is alphabet soup, do we not have punctuation cereal?
Yes, you can see the bullet points here, here and here, sir; there are multiple back-slashes, of course. And that’s a forward slash. I would have to call this a frenzied attack. Did anyone hear the interrobang?” “Oh yes. Woman next door was temporarily deafened by it. What’s this?” “Ah. You don’t see many of these any more. It’s an emoticon. Hold your head this way and it appears to be winking.” “Good God! You mean – ?” “That’s the mouth.” “You mean – ?” “That’s the nose.” “Good grief Then it’s – ?” “Oh yes, sir. There’s no doubt about it, sir. The Punctuation Murderer has struck again.
Stanley Victor Paskavich
If I wouldn’t have spent so much time shooting spit wads at my English teacher, I’d know how to punctuate. Good thing I normally write poetry.
You are an author! You will be a published author. Take pride in that, and present only your best work. Then, continue to improve, so your best gets even better.
While we look in horror at a badly punctuated sign, the world carries on around us, blind to our plight. We are like the little boy in The Sixth Sense who can see dead people, except that we can see dead punctuation. Whisper it in petrified little-boy tones: dead punctuation is invisible to everyone else - yet we see it all the time.
Punctuation was, it is sad to say, invented a very long time ago. Even more frustrating, it has remained with us ever since.
And who would have ever thought we'd see a time when the period – the building block of our very language, punctuation-wise – would be able to transform an innocent one-line message into a seemingly threatening or aggressive imperative? An era when proper punctuation was, potentially, terrifying?
> CracKing: No need to yell. > FtLouie: I’m not yelling!!! > CracKing: You’re using excessive amounts of punctuation, and on-line, that’s like yelling.
Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites, representing nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.
Today, I learned, the comma, this is, a, comma (,) a period, with, a tail, Miss Kinnian, says its, importent, because, it makes writing, better, she said, somebody, could lose, a lot, of money, if a comma, isnt in, the right, place, I got, some money, that I, saved from, my job, and what, the foundation, pays me, but not, much and, I dont, see how, a comma, keeps, you from, losing it, But, she says, everybody, uses commas, so Ill, use them, too,,,,
It is from his grandmother that Henry learns that punctuation can be a weapon. With a comma you can hurt someone.
I not only debar too definite a planet from any role in my story – from the role every dot and full stop should play in my story (which I see as a kind of celestial chart).
In order to cope with death, you need the correct punctuation. Not a final period, not a comma as on Aleya, but a chance to fill in the blank--- life, 'dot dot dot'.
Punctuation is the pragmatics of written language.
Choosing whether or not to insert a comma is the same as choosing whether or not to buy a house.
I can’t help but think that the way we punctuate now is the right way—that we are living in a punctuation renaissance.
So the particular strengths of the colon are beginning to become clear. A colon is nearly always preceded by a complete sentence, and in its simplest usage it rather theatrically announces what is to come. Like a well-trained magician's assistant, it pauses slightly to give you time to get a bit worried, and then efficiently whisks away the cloth and reveals the trick complete.
I don't think anyone would think that an ellipsis represents doubt or anything. I think it's more, you know, hinting at the future. What lies ahead.
If commas are open to interpretation, hyphens are downright Delphic.
John H. Mcwhorter
Texting is very loose in its structure. No one thinks about capital letters or punctuation when one texts, but then again, do you think about those things when you talk?
I apologise if you all know this, but the point is many, many people do not. Why else would they open a large play area for children, hang up a sign saying "Giant Kid's Playground", and then wonder why everyone says away from it? (Answer: everyone is scared of the Giant Kid.)
Un testo ben fatto è prima di tutto un testo corretto al 100%: è fondamentale quindi riservare un lavoro attento anche alla correzione degli errori apparentemente più irrilevanti, come quelli di ortografia e quelli nell’uso degli accenti e degli apostrofi. Anche se sono quelli meno gravi sul piano della comprensione del testo, non sono comunque errori da poco: anzi, sono quelli che balzano per primi all’occhio, e vengono censurati severamente perché si ritiene che riguardino conoscenze presenti nel bagaglio di tutti già a partire dai livelli più bassi di alfabetizzazione. In sostanza, lo svarione di carattere lessicale o sintattico ha qualche probabilità di farla franca; un errore di ortografia mina invece irrimediabilmente la credibilità dell’autore.
The almost-always-ghastly exclamation point has been lately compared to canned laughter.
Punctuation is biological. It is the physical indication of the body-rhythms which the reader is to acknowledge.
Punctuation is to words as cartilage is to bone, permitting articulation and bearing stress.
Was that semi-colon some kind of flirty wink or just bad punctuation?
I suppose this is a trivial matter but I do want to object to the maddening fuss-fidget punctuation which one of your editors is attempting to impose on my story. I said it before but I'll say it again, that unless necessary for clarity of meaning I would prefer a minimum of goddamn commas, hyphens, apostrophes, quotation marks and fucking (most obscene of all punctuation marks) semi-colons. I've had to waste hours erasing that storm of flyshit on the typescript. [Regarding "The Monkey Wrench Gang"]