The title of this post demonstrates the importance of punctuation. A simple comma completely changes the meaning on the sentence:
Let’s eat, Grandma! (My grandma and I are going to enjoy some lunch)
Let’s eat Grandma! (Cannibalism)
Likewise, I passed a café today with some inappropriate quotation marks in their window advertisement:
Join us today for
Served 11:00- 13:00
“Lunch”? …. Sounds dubious…
So how can you make sure your punctuation does its job correctly?
Tip 1: Read everything back. Before you publish a blog post, print a document or even send an email, give it a quick read first. If you can read aloud, even better. By reading it back, you’ll get a feel for the rhythm of the words. You’ll notice when you have too many commas, or too few. Running out of breath whilst reading aloud, is a sign that you need to break a sentence into two.
Tip 2: If the piece is important, get someone else to read it too. A second pair of eyes can be invaluable for spotting things you may have missed.
Sometimes punctuation can be tricky but it’s worth getting right.
As I’m currently on holiday, I’m going to end with a geeky grammar joke:
The past, the present and the future walked into a bar. It was tense.