Does Punctuation Really Matter?

How often have you read a blog post a comment a letter a postcard a short story or some other piece of writing that totally lacks punctuation do you find it irritating frustrating or difficult to get the sense of especially if it is also gotten lots of ring spelling and mistamen about grammatic.thenwhetherein  a tad of punctinating its not rite either and you get rely lost and hav little or no idea why its about what your redding

Okay, so maybe that was an extreme example, but I did read a short story that was like that not so long ago. Almost impossible to make sense of and, at best, a lot of work for the reader. And that should not be the case. It is the writer who should do the work. There really is no excuse. If you know your spelling or punctuation is suspect, then it falls to you to find help before, before, letting the piece of writing meet the reader. Unless you have asked them to proofread for you or help you, no reader should be expected to struggle through a passage of your writing trying to sort out the spelling, punctuation or grammar. This is in your own interest.

If you want to be taken seriously as a writer, if you want anyone to read your work, it is up to you to make it as darn near perfect as you can. Perhaps they don’t like your style, perhaps they don’t like your story, but at least they will be able to decide that after having read it. There is no agent or editor out there who will plough through work that needs to be proofread and edited. Why should they? There is plenty good quality writing landing on their desks. Would you eat a half-cooked meal? Why should they waste their time on a half-finished story when they have plenty ready to digest?

Get the habit! 

Don’t be lazy. If you know how to punctuate, get into the habit of checking everything you write before you let anyone else read it, making sure it is punctuated correctly. Same with spelling and grammar. Even if it is only a comment on someone else’s blog. Respect your readers. Make the effort for them.

If these things are a problem for you, there are lots of good grammar books out there. Lots of good websites too. Go back to school, if you must. It will be worth it. If a joiner wants to build a cabinet, he gathers the tools and materials he needs before he starts. If you want to be a writer, words are your material, grammar and punctuation are your tools. It is well worth the effort to learn how to use them. It can save a lot of bruises.

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. glenperk
    Aug 14, 2013 @ 13:59:21

    Here’s the truth as I see it: we are all too lazy. Texting and messaging has created acceptance of poor grammar and punctuation. I am by no means an expert in grammar, as for spelling all it takes is a dictionary. But, I managed to read the first part of your post without issue. Is it because I’m used to seeing it? I would say yes it is.

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  2. marianallen
    Aug 14, 2013 @ 15:02:11

    AMEN! Preach it, Sister!

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  3. Katie Cross
    Aug 14, 2013 @ 17:04:05

    I agree! I wrote a post about this very thing that I called ‘ Don’t rite like u txt, k??’ because I HATE SPELLING ERRORS. Punctuation too. Seriously. It’s not acceptable. It’s just not!

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  4. Christine Campbell
    Aug 14, 2013 @ 17:08:08

    Thanks for the backup, girls. X

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  5. David Clarkson
    Aug 14, 2013 @ 19:54:48

    Do not forget twitter. Punctuation counts towards the 140 character count and as such, has become deemed expendable by some. As for texting, somebody needs to produce an app that automatically blocks all nonsensical texts.

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    • Christine Campbell
      Aug 14, 2013 @ 22:00:18

      You’re right, David. Twitter is adding to the lazy habit.
      Don’t get men wrong…I abbreviate when texting too, but I still punctuate and I still try to make sense in my texts. What I won’t do is drop my standards for other writing projects. If mistakes slip by me, I try not to feel too bad, but I try hard not to let it happen.

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  6. Dyane
    Aug 15, 2013 @ 01:32:21

    I absolutely agree. Bad grammar annoys me to no end. Part of being ‘professional’ and having a sense of pride in what we write is about the finishing touches ie. checking for errors. It finishes the piece, for goodness sake. Anyway, rant over. Lol

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  7. yobial3
    Aug 15, 2013 @ 20:20:22

    Amen to this. I have have always been pedantic about grammar even as a child. Unfortunately, schools do not put the emphasis on grammar and spelling that they used to and graduating students pay the price. Good post.

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  8. cicampbell2013Christine Campbell
    Aug 16, 2013 @ 12:20:16

    Thank you both, Yolanda and Dyane, for reading and commenting. Glad you agree. X

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  9. CJ Heck
    Jun 08, 2014 @ 00:47:30

    Excellent article, Christine! My partner, Robert, says I’m a “grammar nazi”, because I am so particular about spelling and punctuation … I don’t know if I would go quite that far, but as you said so well, it is important.

    One of my favorite examples of the proper use of commas is this one:

    “Let’s eat Grampa!” vs. “Let’s eat, Grampa!”

    Once again, thank you for writing such a great article.
    Your friend always,
    CJ

    Liked by 1 person

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