Good punctuation is more than just a matter of courtesy: in workplace writing, a sentence should yield its meaning instantly. But when punctuation is haphazard, readers need to work to understand or guess at the writer's intent. "Punctuation at Work" provides readers with 18 common sense principles to live by, helping them to avoid time-wasting confusion, questions about professionalism and sometimes even serious and costly miscommunication. From hyphens and semicolons to brackets and quotation marks...all the way to ellipses (and the eternal struggle between 'that' and 'which'), this book shows readers how to use correct punctuation to make meaning clear and emphasize their most important ideas.
Richard Lauchman through his company The Lauchman Group, has been training professionals, in the area of writing, for over 25 years.
CONTENTS Introduction Author's Note Definitions What You Need to Know First: 19 Principles 1. Punctuation can't rescue sense from nonsense. 2. The main reason to punctuate is to clarify your intent. 3. One of punctuation's tasks is to supply the various signals given by the voice. 4. In workplace writing, a sentence should yield its meaning instantly. 5. Punctuation should be invisible. 6. Punctuation follows the arrangement of words. 7. Punctuation indicates how ideas relate. 8. Punctuation suggests how much emphasis an idea deserves. 9. Punctuation slows the reading. 10. Don't count too much on context to make your meaning plain. 11. Know the difference between restrictive and non-restrictive expressions. 12. Respect the distinction between that and which. 13. When is punctuation optional? 14. Use the serial comma. 15. When do I separate adjectives with a comma? 16. Use the hyphen to clarify "improvised usage." 17. Sometimes, no matter how you punctuate, a reader is going to think it's wrong. 18. Feed your head. 19. When you see an odd usage, consider the source. The Marks * Apostrophe * Brackets * Colon * Comma * Dash * Ellipsis * Hyphen * Parentheses * Period * Question Mark * Quotation Marks * Semicolon * Slash * Punctuating Common Sentence Structures Appendix: How to List Ideas Notes Index