Hello everyone. Welcome to another #theorythursday. Last week I talked about Tone so check that out if you haven’t already. Today I am talking about punctuation so let’s dive in.
What is punctuation?
Punctuation refers to symbols used in sentences that are used to create meaning, or to break up the sentence. There are many punctuation marks used in English such as semicolons, quotation marks, apostrophes, and many more.
These symbols all have different functions. Punctuation is so important so I am going to break down punctuation marks and what they mean over a series of Theory Thursdays and today I am starting with quotation marks.
What are quotation marks?
Quotation marks are used at the start and at the end of a quote. A quote is a sentence, phrase, or piece of information that is not our own. When I use quotation marks, I am illustrating that the sentence written is not my own, I am quoting someone else.
Quotation marks look like this – “ ”.
If I am going to quote a line from a book, poem, play, or movie, I will use these quotation marks.
“Two days later, the weather cleared. For the first time, Mary could see the moor in full sunlight.” – This is a quote from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The quotation marks “-” indicate that this line is from a book and whenever I quote a book, it is crucial that I use quotation marks.
Why are quotation marks important?
Quotation marks are important because when you are quoting someone else’s work, it is very important that you make it clear that you are quoting someone else and not stealing their thoughts and passing them off as your own. Quotation marks are also important because they separate your work from someone else’s and they make it clear when the quote is over so the reader knows when they are reading your work that you have put time and effort into, and they also are aware of when you are quoting someone else.
This leads me to the question why is punctuation important?
Punctuation is important because it can change the entire meaning of a sentence. If I don’t use a full stop then my sentence is incomplete. If I don’t use a question mark then it is not clear that I am asking a question. If I don’t use quotation marks when I quote someone else or a text, then it appears that I am stealing someone else’s work as my own, so it is very important that punctuation marks are used as they provide meaning and clarity. They can sometimes be confusing, but like all aspects of literary theory, practise makes perfect and the more familiar you become with punctuation, the more you understand it, and the easier it becomes to use.
This has been Theory Thursday. I hope you enjoyed it. Happy Friday Eve.