This short book from Thomas Bohm at the British firm User Design provides a helpful and downright pleasant walk through the main punctuation marks of the English language. It combines succinct discussions of each punctuation mark with whimsical illustrations into a very digestible package.
It covers 21 marks. These include the big ones you’d expect such as the apostrophe, comma, exclamation mark, full stop and semicolon. It also covers those you might not expect and that also seem to create a lot of confusion, including brackets, dashes, hyphens and quote marks.
Finally, there are a few punctuation marks we’ve never really thought much about but found interesting. These include primes, which indicate feet and inches (1′ = 1 foot). Also guillemets from French and Italian (<< >>, < >). And the interpunct (IPSO●FACTO), which Bohm explains is the “small dot used to separate words in ancient Latin texts and inscriptions on monuments and buildings”.
Punctuation? was published in 2012, but Bohm got in touch after reading our recent blog on how to become a proofreader so we chased up a copy. As a leading editing firm that loves to see punctuation in the right places, and supporting people providing helpful, easy-to-read and fun resources in this area, we’d recommend grabbing a copy.
You can do that here. The book would be suitable for teens and other students, as much as adults who are still wondering things like when to use a single quote mark and when to go for a double.
While you’re on the site, you can also learn more about larks and life.
By Grant Butler