The Accidental Apostrophe: . . . And Other Misadventures in Punctuation

The Accidental Apostrophe: . . . And Other Misadventures in Punctuation

by Caroline Taggart


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In Roman times, blocks of text were written without even wordspacingnevermindpunctuation. Orators would prepare carefully so that they didn’t get confused between, say, therapists and the rapists. As we entered the Christian era, it became more important to remove any likelihood of misinterpretation. For example, "If you are tempted, yield not, resisting the urge to commit a sin" vs. "If you are tempted, yield, not resisting the urge to commit a sin." So yes, punctuation does matter, and it is there to help—to clarify meaning, to convey emphasis, to indicate that you are asking a question or quoting someone else’s words. Caroline Taggart points out what matters and what doesn’t; why using six exclamation marks where one will do is fine in a text but not at school; why hang glider pilots in training really need a hyphen; and how throwing in the odd semicolon will impress your friends. This is an ideal guide to the (perceived) minefield that is punctuation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781782438205
Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books
Publication date: 04/01/2018
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 767,535
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Caroline Taggart is the bestselling author of I Used to Know That and, in the same series, A Classical Education. She also co-wrote My Grammar and I (Or Should that Be 'Me'?)

Table of Contents

Author's Note 9

Introduction 11

1 Things the Experts Do 17

2 Things That Clarify: I 23

3 Things That Clarify: II 33

4 Things That Clarify: III 63

5 Things That Make You Look Good 79

6 Things That Show Emotion 95

7 Things That May Confuse: I 113

8 Things That May Confuse: II 133

9 Things That Don't Matter Any More 151

10 Things That Have Their Uses 157

11 Things That Have No Rules 167

References 173

Acknowledgements 177

Index 179

About the Author 189

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