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Quotes About Punctuation

Quotes tagged as "punctuation" (showing 1-30 of 37)
Isaac Marion
“I want to change my punctuation. I long for exclamation marks, but I'm drowning in ellipses.”
Isaac Marion, Warm Bodies

Daniel Keyes
“Punctuation, is? fun!”
Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon

Terry Pratchett
“I comma square bracket recruit's name square bracket comma do solemnly swear by square bracket recruit's deity of choice square bracket to uphold the Laws and Ordinances of the City of Ankh-Morpork comma serve the public truƒt comma and defend the ƒubjects of his ƒtroke her bracket delete whichever is inappropriate bracket Majeƒty bracket name of reigning monarch bracket without fear comma favour comma or thought of perƒonal ƒafety semi-colon to purƒue evildoers and protect the innocent comma comma laying down my life if neceƒsary in the cauƒe of said duty comma so help me bracket aforeƒaid deity bracket full stop Gods Save the King stroke Queen bracket delete whichever is inappropriate bracket full stop.”
Terry Pratchett, Night Watch

Lynne Truss
“A panda walks into a cafe. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.

"Why?" asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife annual and tosses it over his shoulder.

"I'm a panda," he says, at the door. "Look it up."

The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.

Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.”
Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

Lynne Truss
“What the semicolon's anxious supporters fret about is the tendency of contemporary writers to use a dash instead of a semicolon and thus precipitate the end of the world. Are they being alarmist?”
Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

Lynne Truss
“To those who care about punctuation, a sentence such as "Thank God its Friday" (without the apostrophe) rouses feelings not only of despair but of violence. The confusion of the possessive "its" (no apostrophe) with the contractive "it's" (with apostrophe) is an unequivocal signal of illiteracy and sets off a Pavlovian "kill" response in the average stickler.”
Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

Ursula K. Le Guin
“I use a whole lot of half-assed semicolons; there was one of them just now; that was a semicolon after 'semicolons,' and another one after 'now.”
Ursula K. Le Guin

Lynne Truss
“We have a language that is full of ambiguities; we have a way of expressing ourselves that is often complex and elusive, poetic and modulated; all our thoughts can be rendered with absolute clarity if we bother to put the right dots and squiggles between the words in the right places. Proper punctuation is both the sign and the cause of clear thinking. If it goes, the degree of intellectual impoverishment we face is unimaginable.”
Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

Bauvard
“To be a comma maniac, always pausing for effect, refusing to be swept up in the run-on of life – only the dash with its dismembered insight can compensate for such inertia.”
Bauvard, The Darkness of Nature

“Was that semi-colon some kind of flirty wink or just bad punctuation?”
Azadeh Aalai

Sarah Dessen
“I don't think anyone would think that an ellipsis represents doubt or anything. I think it's more, you know, hinting at the future. What lies ahead.”
Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever

SARK
“Use lots of exclamation points. They love to be overused.”
SARK, Glad No Matter What: Transforming Loss and Change into Gift and Opportunity

Lynne Truss
“Brackets come in various shapes, types and names:
1 round brackets (which we call brackets, and the Americans call parentheses)
2 square brackets [which we call square brackets, and the Americans call brackets]”
Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

Russell Baker
“When speaking aloud, you punctuate constantly — with body language.

Your listener hears commas, dashes, question marks, exclamation points, quotation marks as you shout, whisper, pause, wave your arms, roll your eyes, wrinkle your brow.

In writing, punctuation plays the role of body language. It helps readers hear the way you want to be heard.”
Russell Baker

Lynne Truss
“I apologise if you all know this, but the point is many, many people do not. Why else would they open a large play area for children, hang up a sign saying "Giant Kid's Playground", and then wonder why everyone says away from it? (Answer: everyone is scared of the Giant Kid.)”
Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

“Apparently, my hopes, dreams and aspirations were no match against my poor spelling, punctuation and grammar.”
Red Red Rover

Rasmenia Massoud
“Whatever it is that you know, or that you don’t know, tell me about it. We can exchange tirades. The comma is my favorite piece of punctuation and I’ve got all night.”
Rasmenia Massoud, Human Detritus

M.F. Moonzajer
“I gave her a love letter and she returned it back to me by correcting spelling and punctuation.”
M.F. Moonzajer, A moment with God ; Poetry

Jarod Kintz
“I want to have a punctuation mark on my face. I’d like to shape my mustache into a tilde sign.
”
Jarod Kintz, Seriously delirious, but not at all serious

Edward Abbey
“I suppose this is a trivial matter but I do want to object to the maddening fuss-fidget punctuation which one of your editors is attempting to impose on my story. I said it before but I'll say it again, that unless necessary for clarity of meaning I would prefer a minimum of goddamn commas, hyphens, apostrophes, quotation marks and fucking (most obscene of all punctuation marks) semi-colons. I've had to waste hours erasing that storm of flyshit on the typescript. [Regarding "The Monkey Wrench Gang"]”
Edward Abbey, Postcards from Ed: Dispatches and Salvos from an American Iconoclast

Victor Klemperer
“Academics love the semicolon; their hankering after logic demands a division which is more emphatic than a comma, but not quite as absolute a demarcation as a full stop.”
Victor Klemperer, The Language of the Third Reich: LTI -- Lingua Tertii Imperii: A Philologist's Notebook

Lynne Truss
“Clicking on "send" has its limitations as a system of subtle communication. Which is why, of course, people use so many dashes and italics and capitals ("I AM joking!") to compensate. That's why they came up with the emoticon, too—the emoticon being the greatest (or most desperate, depending how you look at it) advance in punctuation since the question mark in the reign of Charlemagne.

You will know all about emoticons. Emoticons are the proper name for smileys. And a smiley is, famously, this:

:—)

Forget the idea of selecting the right words in the right order and channelling the reader's attention by means of artful pointing. Just add the right emoticon to your email and everyone will know what self-expressive effect you thought you kind-of had in mind. Anyone interested in punctuation has a dual reason to feel aggrieved about smileys, because not only are they a paltry substitute for expressing oneself properly; they are also designed by people who evidently thought the punctuation marks on the standard keyboard cried out for an ornamental function. What's this dot-on-top-of-a-dot thing for? What earthly good is it? Well, if you look at it sideways, it could be a pair of eyes. What's this curvy thing for? It's a mouth, look! Hey, I think we're on to something.

:—(

Now it's sad!

;—)

It looks like it's winking!

:—r

It looks like it's sticking its tongue out! The permutations may be endless:

:~/ mixed up!
<:—) dunce!
:—[ pouting!
:—O surprise!

Well, that's enough. I've just spotted a third reason to loathe emoticons, which is that when they pass from fashion (and I do hope they already have), future generations will associate punctuation marks with an outmoded and rather primitive graphic pastime and despise them all the more. "Why do they still have all these keys with things like dots and spots and eyes and mouths and things?" they will grumble. "Nobody does smileys any more.”
Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

Kelli Jae Baeli
“Faulkner had an egg carton filled with periods and throughout his writing career, used nearly all of them.”
Kelli Jae Baeli, Don't Fall in Love With Your Words: Fall in Love With Your Craft

George F. Will
“The almost-always-ghastly exclamation point has been lately compared to canned laughter.”
George F. Will, One Man's America: The Pleasures and Provocations of Our Singular Nation

John Lennard
“Punctuation is to words as cartilage is to bone, permitting articulation and bearing stress.”
John Lennard, The Poetry Handbook: A Guide to Reading Poetry for Pleasure and Practical Criticism

“Punctuation is the pragmatics of written language.”
M.B. Parkes, Pause and Effect: Punctuation in the West

Kurt Vonnegut
“Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites, representing nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.”
Kurt Vonnegut

Marcel Proust
“He lives at Balbec?” crooned the Baron in a tone so far from interrogatory that it is regrettable that the written language does not possess a sign other than the question mark to end such apparently unquestioning remarks. It is true that such a sign would be of little use except to M. de Charlus.”
Marcel Proust, Sodom and Gomorrah

“He stood in the doorway of her office. He was, as always, the consummate scoundrel. He leaned against the doorframe, smiling—almost smirking—at her, as if he knew how rapidly her heart had started beating.

If that was how they were going to do this…

She simply raised an eyebrow in his direction. “Oh,” she said with a sniff.

“It’s you.”

“You’re not fooling anyone,” he said.

She could feel the corner of her mouth twitch up. Last time she’d seen him, he’d kissed her so thoroughly she had not yet recovered.

“I’m not?”

“I heard it most distinctly,” he told her. “You might have said ‘It’s you,’ but there was a distinct exclamation mark at the end. In fact, I think there were two.”

“Oh, dear.” Free looked down, fluttering her eyelashes demurely. “Is my punctuation showing once more?”

His eyes darkened and he took a step into her office. “Don’t hide it on my account,” he growled. “You have the most damnably beautiful punctuation that I have ever seen.”
Courtney Milan - The Suffragette Scandal

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