Monday, May 1, 2017

Eats, shoots and leaves

In the non-fiction book, “Eats, Shoots and Leaves”, the author Lynne Truss, wonderfully identifies how one sentence of words has three accurate punctuation possibilities.  The illustration powerfully highlights how punctuation is to the reader is as marks on a musical score are to a musician.  That is, punctuation makes the words come alive with meaning.

(Image credit to Amazon.com)
So for the sentence:

 

The convict said the judge is quite mad.

 

Three accurate punctuation possibilities are:

 

1.    “The convict”, said the judge, “is quite mad”.

 

2.     The convict said, “the judge is quite mad”.

 

3.    The convict said the judge is quite mad.

 

For 1; it is understood that it is the judge who is expressing an opinion.

For 2; it is understood that it is the convict who is expressing an opinion.

For 3, we stand as an observer of the convict as he expresses an opinion about the judge.

 

That’s all very nerdy and neat.

 

Shalom,
Ozhamada

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