The Quotable Guide to Punctuation

ISBN : 9780190675547

Stephen Spector
318 Pages
140 x 210 mm
Pub date
Nov 2017
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  • This book will help readers punctuate effectively and confidently, with instructions conveyed in easily digestible and enjoyable chapters
  • Lessons are headed by quotes that exemplify good punctuation so that readers can learn from context
  • Exemplary quotations come from a variety of great writers, celebrities, or famous historical figures, including Ben Franklin, Muhammad Ali, J. K. Rowling, Sheryl Sandberg, and many others
  • Short essays show the fascinating history and use of each punctuation mark

This book makes punctuation more fun and easier to learn than traditional approaches do. It teaches the natural way, by example: each lesson begins with quotes that exemplify good punctuation and sentence structure. Quotations are humorous and informative, drawn from the words of notable figures—Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Jerry Seinfeld, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lawrence, and many others. Short essays accompany each lesson, showing how each punctuation mark originated and how its use has altered over time. 

Correct punctuation is vital for clear, accurate, and natural writing. Anyone preparing a course assignment, applying for a job or for college admission, or doing any other formal writing needs to know the standard conventions of punctuation. Yet many people have never been taught how to punctuate.

A necessary addition to any writer's bookshelf, this enjoyable book will teach readers to punctuate effectively and confidently—through over 500 memorable quotes and clear explanations of the rules.



Punctuation-Who Needs It?

1: Defining Some Really Basic Terms
2: Apostrophes
3: Colons
4: Commas
5: Dashes
6: En Dashes
7: Exclamation Points!!!!
8: However: How to Get the Punctuation Right Every Time
9: Hyphens
10: Parentheses and Square Brackets
11: Periods
12: Ellipses
13: Abbreviations, Contractions, Numbers, and Dates
14: 15: Question Marks
16: Quotation Marks
17: Quotes within Quotes
18: Run-on Sentences
19: Semicolons
20: Starting Sentences with And or But

About the author: 

Stephen Spector is professor of English and former department chair at SUNY Stony Brook University. He has published eight books, dealing mainly with religion, politics, and language. He has received numerous prizes, fellowships, and grants, has been a Visiting Scholar at Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and has held research fellowship appointments at the National Humanities Center and Wesleyan University.

"Each time a new edition of The TLS Reviewer's Handbook is published, we receive invitations to dine by candlelight. Now we know why. "A national survey in 2013 (funded by Match.com) found that single men and women say that good grammar is one of the most important qualities that they judge when they choose a romantic partner." The words come from The Quotable Guide to Punctuation by Stephen Spector, an amusing approach to clear and eloquent expression ... There is a lot of good advice in Mr Spector's guide. [It] opens by inviting us to spot the difference between these two sentences: Only I can take her to bed, and make her laugh. Only I can take her to bed and make her laugh." - Times Literary Supplement

"A recent book by Stephen Spector of Stony Brook University, The Quotable Guide to Punctuation (Oxford University Press, 2017), is entirely devoted to the deployment of punctuation marks. It is a well-written and often entertaining student-oriented book that will be useful for anyone who teaches writing." - Chronicle of Higher Education

"Stephen Spector has handed us a great gift: a comprehensive, contemporary, and entertaining guide to punctuation." - Roy Peter Clark, author of Writing Tools and The Glamour of Grammar (Little Brown & Company)

"Spector makes punctuation interesting, entertaining, and easy to understand. Read it the first time for fun, and refer to it later to find answers for specific questions." - Mignon Fogarty, author of Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing (St. Martin's Griffin)

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