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On Semicolons and the Rules of Writing

Additional Punctuation Rules When Using Quotation Marks

❶Again, form follows function, and the function here is to characterize the arrogantly dull mental landscape of a man who finds comprehensive literary solace in the baronetage.




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Note: Some English usage rules vary among authorities. For example, the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook is a guide specific for news media and journalists while The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) .

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Incorrect dialogue punctuation and formatting is very common amongst beginning fiction writers. The most common mistake is the use quotations outside of the spoken word. Remember: only the words that the person says should be inside the quotation.

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Get Your Copy of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation #1 Resource for Teachers, Students, Professionals, and SAT Preparation All the grammar, punctuation, and usage rules and examples on . Place a question mark or exclamation point within closing quotation marks if the punctuation applies to the quotation itself. Place the punctuation outside the closing quotation marks if the punctuation applies to the whole sentence.

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More on these rules later, but first the infamous quote in question: “Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. Punctuation is used to create sense, clarity and stress in sentences. You use punctuation marks to structure and organise your writing. You can quickly see why punctuation is important if you try and read this text which has no punctuation at all.