If you write without punctuation the story you are trying to tell might very well get lost as the readers struggle in vain to understand it No punctuation means no tiny pauses provided by commas and no breaths taken at full stops It means that no one can be definitively said to have asked a question or have mentioned something as an aside because there are no parentheses nor are there dashes or semicolons or colons etc There are also no apostrophes which leaves out possessives and contractions and no double quotes without which certain titles cannot exist in their proper form and no common forms of dialogue can be formatted
It is essentially a written world with no structure an unkempt bramble of words and phrases that the reader must cut through with a machete in order to find the story
It is not so much robotic as you said as confusing in the extreme Though I believe it could be done it would almost be a feat not worth doing
Running sentences are however an effective way of denoting the personal style of a writer or the voice of a viewpoint character Like so
There we have a very long run on sentence couched between a few shorter sentences to accent the effect
These sorts of long grammatically incorrect sentences are a way of building tension because the reader is not given a chance to pause or take a breath as it were The way the sentence is written pushes the reader through the flow of the writing If done correctly it could leave them literally gasping The mind is a powerful thing and run on sentences when used in this way are a potent reminder of the influence of the written word
I believe this style should be used sparingly as sentences like the example above lose their effectiveness the more they are used but that certainly does not mean that you cannot sprinkle a few of them around especially in emotional scenes where the viewpoint character is upset This is a technique commonly found in YA literature where exceedingly passionate characters and styles geared toward capturing the voice of the viewpoint character tend to cross paths often
There have also been plenty of literary authors who shunned punctuation conventions like Cormac McCarthy who basically ignored dialogue punctuation and James Joyce who experimented with stream of consciousness writing as character development in works like Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ernest Hemingway who was a particular fan of the long rambling run on sentence
There is no right way to write There are only conventions Experiment Figure out what works for you Whether it is run on sentences or whole books without punctuation the possibilities are endless so get out there and write
I hope this post as answered your question and thank you very much for your message
Here you will find all of the interactive quizzes compiled by Grammar.ccc from various sources. These sources include Sentence Sense: A Writer’s Guide, English faculty at an estimable midwestern university, and students in Professor Karyn Hollis’s Tutor Training course at Villanova University.
All links from this post jump directly to the listed quiz.
These links represent the index of pages from Grammar.ccc, an excellent resource for all things English grammar.
Three little words you often see
Are ARTICLES: a, an, and the.
A NOUN's the name of anything,
As: school or garden, toy, or swing.
ADJECTIVES tell the kind of noun,
As: great, small, pretty, white, or brown.
VERBS tell of something being done:
To read, write, count, sing, jump, or run.
How things are done the ADVERBS tell,
As: slowly, quickly, badly, well.
CONJUNCTIONS join the words together,
As: men and women, wind or weather.
The PREPOSITION stands before
A noun as: in or through a door.
The INTERJECTION shows surprise
As: Oh, how pretty! Ah! how wise!
The whole are called the PARTS of SPEECH,
Which reading, writing, speaking teach.
"Why the song leaves out pronouns is a mystery. A writer from Richland, Washington, suggests ‘A PRONOUN replaces any noun: / he, she, it, and you are found.’” —Grammar.ccc’s page “Definitions of Basic Sentence Parts”
One of the best ways to make your writing stronger is to cut unnecessary words. Many people tend to over-write, often in a similar way to how they would speak. Words creep in that add no meaning and can make a piece of writing sound vague and woolly rather than confidence and precise.
Faulty combination of elements in sentences is a common syntactical flaw. Here are three examples of this type of organizational error.
1. “She is bright, creative, and has much to share.”
This sentence, in which the predicate includes two adjectives following a verb, then a conjunction and a verb phrase, is out of balance. The subject is credited with three attributes, and they must share one verb, or each must have its own verb. The sentence initially appears to follow the former rule, but then another verb appears. The only way to maintain this structure is to combine bright and creative into a single item: “She is bright and creative and has much to share.” (Note that the comma after creative is no longer necessary.)
Alternatively, creative could be assigned its own verb, but it — and the final phrase — would require a proprietary repetition of the pronoun as well: “She is bright, she is creative, and she has much to share.”
2. “We’ve saved a lot of money by using less paper, less water, less energy, and by creating less waste.”
Savings have occurred thanks to two factors: 1) use of less paper, water, and energy and 2) less production of waste; this sentence fails to structure this description correctly. The list of three items is distinct from the second element of the sentence, so it must include a conjunction between the second and third items: “We’ve saved a lot of money by using less paper, less water, and less energy and by creating less waste.” (Note also that because “less energy” is no longer mistakenly regarded as the penultimate item in a list of four things, no comma is necessary after the phrase.)
3. “His positive energy and willingness to work hard on every assignment is key to his success.”
When two nouns separated by a conjunction follow an adjective, the adjective generally applies to both nouns, but here, positive applies only to energy, so the pronoun must be repeated before willingness to clarify that “positive willingness” is not implied: “His positive energy and his willingness to work hard on every assignment is key to his success.”
After we posted that explanation of “?!!” and “!?”, we got a lot of responses advising writers to “just use an interrobang.”
Well, no. Unless you’re joking, do not use an interrobang (‽).
You won’t see it in formal or technical writing at all, and it would surprise me if you found it in very many published works outside of a few magazine articles during its heyday in the 60’s and 70’s.
After all, there is no key for it on your keyboard for a reason. Unlike “?!”, which at least includes actual English punctuation, the interrobang is nonstandard punctuation and is not recognized by grammarians as functional in the English language, sort of like the irony mark (⸮).
It doesn’t matter if you feel that the interrobang could be a useful piece of punctuation. If you use it, lots of people aren’t going to take you all that seriously.
And yes, English grammar changes over time. Perhaps one day the interrobang will enter common usage. Until then, stick with “!”, “?”, or even (the wrong but still more correct) “?!”.
Anonymous asked: Happy New Year! ^.^ is it ever appropriate to use “?!” or “!?” in novel writing?
”?!” and, less commonly, “!?” are considered improper for formal or technical writing. However, there are plenty of published novels which include this type of punctuation. The more pinkies-out-monocles-on Literary you get, the less often these quirks of punctuation will crop up, but they’re all over the place in Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction, and you’ll even find them in adult genre fiction like Crime, Fantasy, and Romance novels.
”?!” tends to be more common than “!?” because sentences that require this extra emphasis tend to be questions. Placing the question mark first, therefore, seems to feel more “correct” to writers, though of course it hardly matters as long as you punctuate one way or the other consistently.
I want to stress again that neither “?!” nor “!?” is technically correct. According to pretty much any English grammarian you talk to, a sentence should only have one terminal punctuation mark (that’s a period, exclamation point, or question mark).
This doesn’t make using the exclamation point and question mark together bad, necessarily. It just means that you need to consider your audience carefully.
Here are a few examples of this punctuation in action:
It’s your call. If you ask me, though, I’d encourage you to use one or the other if you can. Either use an exclamation point to convey the extreme emotion (or raised voice) or a question mark to designate the sentence as a question.
See how using one or the other subtly changes the meaning of the sentence when you read it?
The exclamation point in the first example might convey to the audience that Alice doesn’t really require an answer. She’s just expressing her alarm, maybe as a knee-jerk reaction to whatever is going on. The dialogue tag “Alice shouted” might even be unnecessary in the first example. Considering the presence of the exclamation point, the reader could reasonably assume that Alice is shouting.
In the second example, the question mark is doing its job of making it clear to the audience that Alice is asking a question. The audience could reasonably assume that she expects some sort of answer. They might also expect that answer to come as the dialogue commences. The dialogue tag “Alice shouted” has a real function here as well. Since there isn’t an exclamation point to tell us that Alice is feeling an extreme emotion or perhaps raising her voice, the inclusion of “shouted” lets the reader know how Alice is delivering her line.
In both examples, you’re having to choose which punctuation mark is going to suit your sentence best. The use of both eases that choice, but it comes at the cost of grammatical correctness and sometimes writer credibility.
Again, your call.
Happy New Year, and thank you for your question!
P.S. I’d also like to add that the more instances of terminal punctuation you add to the end of a sentence, the less desirable it becomes for a conventional audience. “?!?!?!”, for example, might be considered normal grammar on Tumblr, but is hardly ever found in published novels.
P.P.S. Alas, the interrobang (‽) never caught on. Otherwise we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. Interrobang, I mourn for thee.
As much as we might judge people for their bad spelling, the truth is that English spelling doesn’t make any goddamn sense. Just look at that sentence: Why is there an “n” but no “n” sound in “goddamn”? It turns out there’s one perfectly good reason for that and many other eccentricities of the language, and that one good reason is actually a bunch of stupid reasons that are all shitty and terrible. Like …