Thought Repository


Recently I had to do some proofreading for the professor I work for. I may not be the best writer ever, but one thing I do know something about is punctuation. Proofreading other people's work has really made me realize how well my high school's system worked for me.

They had this system of teaching the rules for commas that they called the constructs. There were 9 rules and they each were numbered. It isn't a system used anywhere else, and so no one knows what I'm talking about when I call something a #1 (except at MacDonalds) but at least I know when something's right or wrong. I think it is easier to remember the rules if you know exactly how many there are and if you remember them in an order. If I can't assign a number to a comma I see, then it doesn't belong there. I am starting to forget and unfortunately I can't find any kind of reference anywhere. I think punctuation is a problem for people in general, and if my school has a solution that worked for me they should share it so that it can help others.

I've also been reading this book, Eats, Shoots and Leaves, about punctuation, and the author doesn't even seem to have as sound a grasp of commas as she could have with my teachers' rules. The downside to the book is that it is British, so some of their conventions are different than ours.