Cozy English Courses

The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course
on DVD

Lesson Fifteen

Common Confusions & Conclusion

purpose of punctuation is clarity of meaning.

Setting: Beach House

"As you become more aware of punctuation, you may notice discrepancies in uses by writers and publishers.  I would like to point out some of these discrepancies to you; however, I am not saying these discrepancies are right or wrong.  

Remember the purpose of punctuation is clarity of meaning.  I am expecting some friends for dinner, so, if you don't mind I will get things ready while I discuss some of these punctuation discrepancies with you."   

While Marie prepares for her guests by unloading the car, putting away her fishing rod and tackle, cleaning and roasting  the salmon and the prawns, setting the table, making a blackberry pie, stoking the fireplace, arranging a bowl of fruit, garnishing the main course, lighting candles, and setting the baked pie to cool on the kitchen window sill, she addresses some of the most common errors, confusions, and discrepancies about the use of punctuation marks.

The topics covered include: tips on avoiding overuse of the comma, and a simple way to gauge where commas should be placed; the trend towards omitting periods from abbreviations; confusing the use of the ellipsis with the dash; inconsistency by publishers in the use of double and single quotation marks; choosing between the comma, the colon, and the dash when punctuating a list or series; the use of a comma before the word 'and' in a list; using a colon to introduce long quotations; punctuating indented quotations; parentheses versus brackets; parentheses versus the dash for showing a change of thought; and, differentiating between it's and its.

"Just as you pay attention to traffic signs when you're driving a car, so must you pay attention to punctuation marks when you're reading and writing. "  Marie leaves us with one final thought before opening the door to greet her guests.  "When you punctuate your writing with correct signs, your communications are more meaningful; just as when you punctuate your day with interesting activities, your life is more meaningful.  Good bye, good luck, and drive carefully!"

Featured Music
Goldberg Variation 10 (Bach)
English Suite III Gigue (Bach)
Prelude Opus 28 No.3 (Chopin)
Impromptu Opus 90 No. 2 (Schubert)
Marche Militaire (Schubert)
Nola (Arndt)
Maple Leaf Rag (Joplin)
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