Not very knowledgeable about books and the journey to getting them published, it is never too late to learn about it. While the story or message in the book is what readers are generally interested in, clarity of the story/message must be foremost. But… there is so much more than just clarity!
I never really knew about all the commas, inverted or otherwise, nor exclamation marks, quotation, or question marks. I did know a full stop comes at the end of a sentence. I do try and show off prowess by using many marks inappropriately. I hope that by using them profusely I might confuse or fool some readers. I don’t think so.
Only yesterday I learnt that exclamation marks came into being hundreds of years ago. “The exclamation mark was first introduced into English printing in the 15th century to show emphasis, and was called the “sign of admiration or exclamation”.
Hyphens have a life on their own and worthy of a separate article. In re-reading my forthcoming book ‘Almost There,’ punctuation and exclamation marks are scattered around like confetti at a drunken RSL club wedding or oaths during a Welsh rugby match.
I have been busy with getting rid of many of those marks but have to keep referring to a handy little book, : my grammar and I (or should that be ‘me’?). !Note the three marks of, 1 inverted comma, 2 the question mark and 3 the closing bracket after just one word!
So, in summing up. It is not just having reasonable word order. The order also has to be maintained in Stops, Commas, Question marks, Exclamation marks, Colons, Semicolons, Dashes, Hyphens, Quotation marks, Apostrophes Possessive or otherwise.
Here a bit previously written and posted and now in ‘Almost There.’
“A good friend left a message on our answering service yesterday congratulating us on 50 years of marriage. How did this come about? It only seems like yesterday. We had totally forgotten. We have never stood still reflecting much on wedding anniversaries. We do of course remember each other’s birthdays. Christmases too come and go. The important thing is to get up each day and celebrate that marvelous event more than the one yearly or one in fifty years event.
Here is how!
“How did you sleep?” “Very good, how about you?” “Oh, very good, just went to toilet just once, I think it was at 4.30, or no, it might have been a bit earlier, perhaps 3.30.” “I slept very deeply again afterwards, ‘like an angel’. “You don’t look like an angel, get a haircut today, you look wild, more like a Hottentot.” ” Yes, but then I have to wash my hair, take a shower too.” “So what?” “Have you got a problem, taking a shower?” “No, not that, but it is still too early.” “You are not too early with being banal.” “Yes, I know, feel free! It is not too late. Many would find you very attractive, and you’ve got lovely eyes.” “Get #u&&et.” “How’s the coffee dear?” “Strong enough?” “Yes, it is a nice one today.” “It’s Lavazza, ground. We are on the last kilo.” “OK, next when it is on special we get two kilo’s again.” “Yes, at Farmers Market.” “I had a stomach cramp during the night.” “I might have eaten too much of the hummus.” “Yes, I noticed you were hoeing into it last night with the crackers too. Were you hungry?” “You’re a very healthy girl, you eat more than me!” “Not as healthy as you will be, emptying the red again.” “Well, you know after the drive from Sydney, one needs a bit of a relaxation.” “You say that every night”. “Yes, I know, but we don’t take any medication, you’ve got to have something”! We don’t smoke, don’t take any medication, live frugally, still have most of our teeth. So what if we drink a bit?” “True, dear, especially if it is a good one”. “I might go upstairs and check the blogs. Have you looked yet?” “No, I haven’t. I am still tired.” “Oh, there you go again, meckering as usual. Cheer up.” “I am cheery, have you looked at the lilies, another one has opened up, there are now three open”. “Yes, I noticed, make another coffee and take it upstairs”. “Alright dear, I will.”
And that is the answer to how fifty years have passed. (And all too quickly).”