People need to understand the very important role that punctuation marks play in any piece of text. They are like traffic lights guiding you through the treacherous roads of words, phrases and sentences.
Full stops are red lights bringing to you to a complete stop in your drive. Commas, colons and semicolons are amber lights warning you to prepare to move once again. Spaces between words and words beginning with capital letters give you the green light to go right ahead.
Imagine driving in a city without traffic lights, at best, or traffic wardens, at worst! Some of us don’t need to imagine this; we have actually lived in such places. Think of the chaos on the roads, the loud blaring of horns, the countless car crashes and pedestrians knocked down.
Punctuation marks allow a free flow of legibility and enhance the understanding of the reader. They give a piece of text a comely appearance.
They are like street lamps illuminating the paths of prose. They help us to avoid stumbling over the cracks in the pavements of poetry and any obstacles that may be found along the way.
A combination of punctuation marks and words is a marriage made in heaven. Any attempt to separate the two results in chaos and confusion. If every effort is made to ensure that these two never part ways then the literary world will indeed be a better place.
As a case in point, read the below email excerpt from an anonymous author;
‘An English professor wrote the words:
“A woman without her man is nothing”
on the chalkboard and asked his students to punctuate it correctly.All of the males in the class wrote:
“A woman, without her man, is nothing.”
All the females in the class wrote:
“A woman: without her, man is nothing.”
Punctuation is powerful!’