Monday, July 15, 2013

The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

I'm finishing up some continuing ed. credits this week.  I am looking forward to writing a six-page paper on the Transcontinental Railroad tonight (#yourejealous).  I have also been doing work for two online classes.  Hey, who said teachers take the summer off?! 

Among those classes, I took one through the University of La Verne.  Did you know their credit hours are only $105?  Check it out if you need some CEUs or what have you.  The class I just finished is called "Punctilious Punctuation."  To be perfectly honest, it wasn't fab.  In fact, I could have done much better!  Ha ha... Shout-out to Mike SanMarco for our fabulous grammar class last summer.

What was great about this course, though, was I got to revisit a fun (yes, FUN) grammar book I read a few years ago, Eats, Shoots, and Leaves by Lynne Truss.  Truss is a cranky and witty punctuation curmudgeon.  But she takes her readers on an insightful and playful ride through the rise and fall of punctuation.

An explanation of the title from the back of the book jacket:


What you may be even more interested in is her picture book version by the same title.

The book has two illustrations side by side and shows how commas change the sentence. 

These pages say, "Look at that huge hot dog!"  and "Look at that huge, hot dog!"

I have read this book with students and then had them create their own similar sentences and accompanying illustrations.

Along the same lines, you may be familiar with:

As part of the course I also got to use a book given to me by my cousin for Christmas, I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar: A Collection of Egregious Errors, Disconcerting Bloopers, and Other Linguistic Slip-Ups .  We had to go on a scavenger hunt for bad punctuation in public places and I was eager to bust out this gem to help.

If I didn't laugh I would cry.

Side note:  This is me.  Consider yourself warned.

Another side note: I'm really paranoid that I made a grammar/punctuation error in this post now.

1 comment:

  1. Love this post! I would love to teach grammar and punctuation just like you!!