First: 19 Principles
Before you punctuate, make sure you've used the right words and have put those words in a sensible order. If you haven't, the marks won't help. Punctuation is perfect in the sentences below, but the writer isn't saying what he means.
As a 6-year-old girl, my grandfather owned a 40-acre farm.
I always feed my dog before I eat myself.
In her affidavit, the plaintiff contends she was insulted on several
occasions by the elevator.
All of these details are not relevant.
Etymology often fails to elucidate contemporary lexical utility.
The first sentence states flatly that the grandfather was once a 6-yearold girl. From the second, we can only wonder what the dog gets to eat. The third sentence can easily be read to mean that the elevator lacks manners. The fourth is ambiguous. How many of the details are irrelevant? All of them, or only some of them? And the last one illus-