Grammar Corner

Let’s not leave Punctuation out in the cold

 Anne Silva

After last week’s Scary Grammar Pitfalls of DOOM, I thought we could talk about something a little more benign this week: punctuation. While not exactly grammar, it’s not really “vocabulary” either, and often seems to get left out in the cold, as such metalinguistic topics tend to do. (I see you out there, pronunciation! Mama hasn’t forgotten about you!)

Do you know that I was a grown-up person with some very expensive pieces of paper from various learning institutions, some study- and work-abroad experience, and a real job speaking Spanish every day before I learned that there are different rules for punctuation in English and in Spanish? I mean, besides the whole upside-down, right-side-up doodads. (Those are pretty obvious, although after seeing the horrendously punctuated billboards in Miami, apparently they are not as ubiquitous as one might hope.)

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