Comma Sense

Comma Sense

A Fundamental Guide to Punctuation

Book - 2005
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Are you confounded by commas, addled by apostrophes, or queasy about quotation marks? Do you believe a bracket is just a support for a wall shelf, a dash is something you make for the bathroom, and a colon and semicolon are large and small intestines? If so, language humorists Richard Lederer and John Shore (with the sprightly aid of illustrator Jim McLean), have written the perfect book to help make your written words perfectly precise and punctuationally profound.
Don't expect "Comma Sense" to be a dry, academic tome. On the contrary, the authors show how each mark of punctuation--no matter how seemingly arcane--can be effortlessly associated with a great American icon: the underrated yet powerful period with Seabiscuit; the jazzy semicolon with Duke Ellington; even the rebel apostrophe with famed outlaw Jesse James. But this book is way more than a flight of whimsy. When you've finished "Comma Sense, "you'll not only have mastered everything you need to know about punctuation through Lederer and Shore's simple, clear, and right-on-the-mark rules, you'll have had fun doing so. When you're done laughing and learning, you'll be a veritable punctuation whiz, ready to make your marks accurately, sensitively, and effectively.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2005.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9780312342548
Call Number: 428.2 LEDERER
Characteristics: p. ; cm.
Subjects: English language -- Punctuation -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Additional Contributors: Shore, John 1958-


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Jul 05, 2015

What a hilarious book! Who would have thought that punctuation could be funny? The authors, Richard Lederer and John Shore, did not want this book to be tedious and boring so they presented the material in an original and humorous way. Some of my favorites are:

What's the difference between a cat and a comma?
A cat has claws at the end of its paws - but a comma is a pause at the end of a clause.

To learn the seven coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, nor, yet, for, so) sing along to the tune of the Julie Andrew's hit "Do, Re, Mi".
And, a word, a real small word;
But, it's spelled with just one t;
Or, a stick we use to row;
Nor, half of a cold countreeee;
Yet, you bet it rhymes with wet;
For, one number more than three;
So a button on your fly -
And that brings us back to do, re, mi!

The following example demonstrates the use of a colon between chapters and verses in the Bible.
In Exodus 15:22-35, we are reassured that Moses was a male, because he spent forty years wandering around the wilderness, and never asked for directions.

The following shows the use of a dash to signify a sudden change in thought.
Just think! We're only an hour away from being the first people in history to fly around the world in a hot air balloon! We're going to be famous! We're going to - what's that burning smell?

I think I'm getting carried away here. Anyway, it was a fun read and I ended up finishing it in one sitting.


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