A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, thendraws a gun and proceeds to fire it at the other patrons. Why?asks the confused, surviving waiter amidst the carnage, as thepanda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badlypunctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over hisshoulder. Well, Im a panda, he says, at the door. Look itup. The waiter turns to the relevant entry in the manual and,sure enough, finds an explanation. “Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots andleaves.”
The joke is putting the comma after "Eats" as in..."Eats, shoots and leaves" instead of..."Eats shoots and leaves".
Punctuation is a set of symbols used in writing to help indicate something about the structure of sentences, to reveal the correct meaning of sentences or to assist readers in knowing when to change the rhythm orthe stress of their speaking.Common units of punctuation in English include the period,question mark, exclamation mark, comma, semi colon, colon,the apostrophe and capitalisation.
Three punctuation marks are appropriate for use as sentenceendings. They are the period, question mark, andexclamation mark.These end marks signal intonation (pitch, stress, stops) whichhelps to reveal sentence meaning) e.g.Oscar Wilde defined a cynic. (statement)Oscar Wilde defined a cynic? (question)Oscar Wilde defined a cynic! (exclamation)
The Full Stop or the Period(.) is a punctuation mark whichindicates the end of a sentence or a complete statement. After the period, a sentence MUST begin with a capital letter. Kathy’s blatant vanity is rude and inconsiderate. She thinksnothing of removing a mirror from her purse at a restaurantand running a comb through her hair.
A lack of full stops makes reading and understanding thepassage difficult, as in the following incorrectly punctuatedexample: There was a knock at the door when I answered it there wasno one there for several minutes I waited to see if anyonewould appear There was a knock at the door. When I answered it, there wasno one there. For several minutes, I waited to see if anyonewould appear.
A full stop is also used with most abbreviations such as:1. Dr.2. PhD.3. R.S.V.P.4. a.m.5. p.m.6. Etc.7. e.g.8. A.D.9. B.C.10. Mr.
The Question Mark (?): is a punctuation symbolwritten at the end of a sentence or phrase to indicatea question. Examples of this include: How could you do this? When did Jane leave for the market? Who started the riot?
The Exclamation Mark: is used at the end of asentence to express a higher degree ofsurprise, incredulity or other strong emotions.For example: A pox on them both! Get off the road! How could you do this!
Note that both question marks and exclamation marks whenused in speech go inside the quotation marks. If it is followedby a word of saying, this word of saying has a small letter. “What do you want?” she asked. “How dare you!” she exclaimed. It is sometimes difficult to decide whether a question mark oran exclamation mark is required. We have to think aboutwhich is more important in a particular case – theexclamation or the question and then apply it appropriately.
The Comma is a punctuation mark used to indicate a slightdivision between different parts of a sentence or to indicate a small break in the sense of continuitywithin a sentence. indicates a break that is less definite than thatshown by a full stop. The use of the comma is primarily determined by thestructure of the sentence.
Just as pauses and variations in voice pitch help to convey themeaning of spoken sentences, commas help to clarify themeaning of written sentences. When the lightning struck, Ahmed Amin fainted. When the lightning struck Ahmed, Amin fainted.
The comma is used in the following circumstances. To separate the items of a list, e.g. He packed his socks, shirts, shoes, etc. But no comma isneeded before the final item if a conjunction such as and isused. He packed his socks, shirts and shoes. Commas precede coordinating conjunctions (FANBOYS) thatjoin main clauses. Paradise was an exclusive country club, but the gates of hellwere open to all. No one watches the performance, for everybody is takingpart in it.
The comma is used to separate two clauses if the subjects ofthe clauses are different, e.g. Samina bought a pair of shoes from Charles and Keith , butAysha bought a handbag.But if the subject is the same, no comma is required, e.g. Amna left home early and reached the station in time. To cut off exclamations, parenthesis, etc. from the rest of thesentence, e.g. Oh, what a pity you did not catch him. Win or lose, it is fun to play the game.
Geographical names, most items in dates and addresses areset off by commas. My son was born on Friday, February the 1st, 1996. The letter was addressed to Mr. Ahmed, 52/1, 16th Street,Gulberg, Karachi. Commas are used to separate parenthetical elements orinterrupters. Generally speaking, an experienced driver does not fear theopen road. My mother, sitting near me, smiled knowingly.
The semi colon is a punctuation mark halfwaybetween a comma and a full stop. It is used in asentence to: Divide statements which are separate but which arevery closely connected. e.g. The first present she opened was a box ofhandkerchiefs; the second was a box of chocolates.
Separate items in a list when these are phrases ratherthan single words e.g. The stalls of the open market along the wharf were filledwith tray after tray of glassy eyed fish; flat toppedpyramids of Brussels sprouts; slender stalks of pinkrhubarb and jars of bronze honey.• The semi colon is used between two main clauses notjoined by a coordinating conjunction (FANBOYS) e.g. Nations no longer declare war or wage war; they declareor wage mutual suicide.
The colon ( : ) is used after a word introducing (or summingup) a quotation, an explanation, an example, or a series. The colon following a statement or a main clause is a formalintroducer calling attention to something that is to follow e.g. Theories which tried to explain the secret of fire walking fallinto three categories: physical, psychological and religious. All her thoughts were centered on one objective: liberation. The sense of unity with nature is vividly shown in ZenBuddhist paintings and poetry: an old pine tree preacheswisdom and a wild bird is crying out truth.
The colon can be used after the salutation of abusiness letter, between a title and a subtitleand the hour and minute of a time reference. Dear Sir: Stories of Ourselves: The Son’s Veto At exactly 10:35pm….
The apostrophe is a sign used for: To indicate the possessive case which indicates thepossessor or owner of something.E.g. the lady’s hat (the hat of the lady)the man’s suit (the suit of the man) The omission of a letter in a word.E.g. don’t for do not, can’t for can not, haven’t forhave not, it’s for it is.
The possessive case is formed as follows:• if the possessor is singular, add (’s).For example, the cloud’s shadow, the girl’s dress.• If the possessor is plural, then just add an apostrophe.For example, the ladies’ hats, the boys’ shoes.• If the word is already in the plural, the possessive caseis formed by adding (’s).For example, men’s shoes, children’s clothes.
Do not use the apostrophe with the pronouns:his, hers, its, ours, yours, theirs or whose or with plural nouns. e.g. His parents sent money; ours sent food.Do not confuse its with it’s or whose with who’s e.g. Its motor is small- (the motor of it is small) It’s a small motor- (it is a small motor) He is a mechanic whose work is reliable-(the work of whom) He is a mechanic who’s work is reliable-(a mechanic who isreliable)
Most capitalised words fall into five main categories:1. Proper names, e.g. Ahmed, Sara, Dania2. Titles, e.g. Mr. Ahmed, the Head of the Tribune, QueenElizabeth3. The beginning of a sentence, e.g. It is winter. There is snowon the ground.4. The first word in direct speech, e.g. She asked, “Will you bestaying long?”5. Important words in titles of novels, plays, films etc ,e.g.Gone with the Wind, A Passage to India, Kung Fu Panda.
1. Punctuate the following paragraph:dear jack I want a man who knows what love is allabout you are generous kind thoughtful people whoare not like you admit to being useless and inferior youhave ruined me for other men I yearn for you I have nofeelings whatsoever when we are apart I can beforever happy will you let me be yours jill
Dear Jack,I want a man who knows what love is. All about youare generous, kind, thoughtful people who are not likeyou! Admit to being useless and inferior! You haveruined me! For other men I yearn; for you, I have nofeelings whatsoever. When we are apart, I can beforever happy. Will you let me be?Yours ,Jill.