Posts Tagged: punctuation

Exclamation Points Are Feminist!

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Friendly emails are a sign of progress, not weakness, in our working lives.

Policing women’s use of language is over (we wish). But at the Huffington Post, Angelina Chapin argues that women’s use of exclamation marks in the workplace represents a subversion of masculinist notions about leadership.

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The Rumpus Poetry Book Club Chat with David Rivard

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David Rivard discusses his new collection Standoff, writing as both a public and private act, the interiority of reading, and Pokémon GO. ...more

The Purpose of Punctuation

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Artist Nicholas Rougeux focuses on the punctuation of famous works by removing all of the letters in a text and arranging the punctuation in a spiral around a central image. Rougeux speaks on the purpose of his work:

Rougeux doesn’t have any bold claims for what his graphics reveal about literature, writing, “I’m not sure anything revolutionary is revealed.” But in the absence of what we most often focus on—the words—we’re able to see how different authors put punctuation to work in telling their stories, and how even such simple marks might ebb and flow over the course of a single narrative.

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Writing, Titling, Tricoloning

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Greek for “of equal number of clauses,” isocolon is a rhetorical device that produces a sense of order by balancing parallel elements that are similar in structure and length within a sentence. An isocolon need not have three elements, but the requirement of parallel and balance means that it often takes a tripartite shape, technically called a tricolon.

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Serial Commas, Subordinate Clauses, and the New Yorker

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Mary Norris has a gift for your favorite grammarian in this week’s New Yorker: a detailed account of comma policy from a veteran copyeditor. The magazine is notorious for its meticulous house style (where else do you still see a diaeresis over the word coördinate?), which it owes to Mensa-level punctuator Eleanor Gould and her acolytes.

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A Parenthetical Suffering

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According to Christopher Benfey, literature has a long history of writers including characters’ personal struggles in parentheses within the text. To learn how that worked in Nabokov’s “Lolita” or Virginia Woolf’s “To The Lighthouse” (and to discover that there’s an entire study on the subject), check out Benfey’s essay on the New York Review of Books‘s blog.

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The Decline of Punctuation?!…

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We live in a heyday of punctuation. “Call this what you will—exclamatory excess, punctuation inflation, the result of the Internet’s limitless expanse—it is everywhere,” writes Megan Garber at the Atlantic. But perhaps not for long—with the rise of image-based expression like emoji and gifs, we are finding new ways to express ourselves, and we’re leaving exclamation points and question marks out of it.

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The Pleasure of Perfectly Positioned Punctuation

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As conscientious writers know, punctuation can make all the difference in a sentence, sculpting mush into meaning or cluing the reader in to nuances of intonation.

Vulture’s Kathryn Schulz has compiled some of literature’s most effective and memorable instances of punctuation, from Nabokov’s parenthetical “(picnic, lightning)” to the ellipses in T.

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