When we speak, people are able to understand what we are saying. Do you know why? You are right, that is because we change our tone or take a pause wherever necessary. Similarly, for a reader to understand what we have written, we need to change our tone and how do we do that? Yes, by using the Punctuation Marks.
To convey the correct message to the reader, it is mandatory for the writer to use appropriate punctuation marks in his authored work – be it an article, blog, email or any other written material. Any flaw or omission in the use of punctuation marks may convey a totally different meaning to the reader.
Following are some sentences, which will illustrate the importance of punctuation marks:
– Time to eat kids!
– Time to eat, kids!
Both the sentences have an exclamation mark in the correct place, the words used in both the sentences are same. But…. the punctuation mark – the comma – is missing from the first sentence and hence, making a huge (really huge, isn’t it?) difference.
Here is another example:
– All fields are closed. No trespassing violators will be prosecuted.
– All fields are closed. No trespassing, violators will be prosecuted.
The first sentence means that, the non-violators of the rule will be prosecuted while, the second sentence means violators of the rule will be prosecuted.
These examples show how important it is to use punctuation marks at the right places.
Before I end my blog, another example:
– John is on leave.
– John is on leave?
– John is on leave!
The first sentence is a reply, whereas, the second sentence is a question. All three sentences have the same content, the only distinction is the punctuation mark at the end of the statement.
Did you know, when an exclamation mark is used at the end, the sentence has an emotion attached to it?
The above sentences show how a minor error in the use of punctuation can change the whole meaning of a sentence.
So, to make sure readers have perceived and interpreted the exact meaning of what you have written, use the right punctuation marks at the right places.
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