The importance of punctuation


Have a read:

Dear John:

I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart. I can be forever happy–will you let me be yours? Gloria

Now read this one – same words, different punctuation:

Dear John:

I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we’re apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be? Yours, Gloria

Completely different meanings.

So make sure you proofread and check your punctuation carefully – you don’t want to accidentally say something you didn’t intend!

Photo Credit: Planning for Fun via Graeme Douglas

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  1. #1 by helpforyourenglish on March 14, 2011 - 7:57 am

    An important point well made. With bad punctuation, only the writer can be sure of what is meant. With good punctuation, most readers should know.

    • #2 by jlawry on March 17, 2011 - 3:16 am

      Thanks for your comment. 🙂

      Exactly – punctuation makes a huge difference to the clarity of an essay. And, of course, it’s the essay writer’s job to make it easy for most readers to understand their work.

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