Grammar: A Friendly Approach

By Christine Sinclair | Go to book overview

9
How to be offensive
with punctuation
9.1 Define without commas • 9.2 Questions about punctuation • 9.3 The functions of punctuation marks • 9.4 Putting punctuation to work • 9.5 Abel's dodgy colon and Barbara's full stop • 9.6 Comments on questions • 9.7 Conclusion: advice about punctuation
Does your punctuation show the reader how groups of words should be read?
Does your punctuation complete, introduce, separate, enclose, or omit?

9.1 Define without commas

Kim and Barbara are having some toast in the flat before going to university
and the mail arrives. Kim's brother Eddie, who went back to Edinburgh to hand
in his dissertation, has sent her a letter. He has a special message for Barbara,
but Barbara doesn't get to that bit as when Kim shows her the letter she is so
incensed about the third sentence.

Kim:Pompous git. Who writes letters these days? Why not just send me
an email? Do you want to see it?
Barbara:No, I like getting letters. I think it should be encouraged; it's more
personal. But yeah, let's see it.

-88-

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Grammar: A Friendly Approach
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Figures xi
  • 1: Introduction 1
  • 2: Bad Language 8
  • 3: Mangling and Dangling Participles 20
  • 4: Getting Tense with Verbs 28
  • 5: Active and Passive Voices 41
  • 6: What is the Subject? 48
  • 7: The Complete Sentence 55
  • 8: Relationships and Relatives 75
  • 9: How to Be Offensive with Punctuation 88
  • 10: Possessive Apostrophes and Missing Letters 103
  • 11: Checking the Checker 117
  • 12: Finale 126
  • Appendix 1: More Details on Parts of Speech 141
  • Appendix 2: More Details on Clauses 149
  • Appendix 3: Warning Signs 152
  • Bibliography 154
  • Index 156
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