Punctuation Guide: The Rules & How to Break Them
Simple, definitive suggestions on how to punctuate properly. Or not! A special instructional for paid subscribers only.
Punctuation is hard! Why? Chiefly: Punctuation rules are many; the rules are surprisingly fluid; good writers break the rules all the time. But proper punctuation is as vital to writing as plus signs are to math. Without the right marks, meaning can be lost or disastrously distorted. Whatever sort of writing you do—journalism or fiction, business or government, internal or external—there are a handful of punctuation rules (and yes, I’ve left out oodles of others) that must be followed. Except when you choose not to. Because you understand them.
Embrace the period. Use it often. Short sentences can be incredibly effective for everything from improving the flow of complex passages and guiding readers’ eyes along to spicing up the rhythm to emphasizing important points. You can almost never go wrong with a period. There’s no such thing as a period splice. I have never heard an editor complain, “Too many periods!”
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