Monday, September 12, 2011

Punctuation

Please, people--follow the rules of punctuation in your queries and manuscripts! I don't want to stifle your creative process, but commas, quotation marks, semicolons and their various friends and relations exist for a reason. They define and support the text.

Think of them as the underwires and SPANX of prose.


So, if you aspire to write, PLEASE learn proper usage. Read Eats, Shoots & Leaves if you'd like an entertaining education on the subject. I'll forgive occasional typos, but constant errors make writers look ignorant and make their work unreadable.

And I give a posthumous "thank you" to Dr. Cole, who used to take 10 points off for every mis-use (by omission or commission) of a semicolon on our papers.

6 comments:

Disgruntled Bear (Kate Kaynak) said...

Poor 'punctuation,' makes writers look.. bad!!!!!

Disgruntled Bear (Kate Kaynak) said...

I think I hurt something writing that.

M.J. Fifield said...

I really couldn't agree more with this post. I've read so many self published books this year with terrible grammar. It's made me rather depressed.

Andrew Leon said...

I couldn't agree more. Of course, I have it a bit easier than a lot of writers in that I have a degree in English -and- have spent some time working as an editor (even if it was a long, long time ago (but not in another galaxy)). It's one of those things that if you know you can't do it on your own, you need to hire some help.

Andrew Leon said...

I even have a hard time with blogs that have consistently poor usage. As in, I quit reading them. If I can't read your blog, I'm certainly not going to read your book.

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