Saturday, August 23, 2008

Punctuation can mean life or death

Kinsley at (registration required):
    "I use semicolons and I never really enforced a hard-and-fast rule," Kinsley responded recently by e-mail ... "But if abuse is going to be common," he continued, "it's simpler and safer to have a flat-out rule. It's like drug regulation. Drugs are banned sometimes because a minority of users will have negative side effects, or because taking them correctly is complicated, although many people could get it right and would find them helpful. Actually, I'm opposed to that kind of thinking re drugs, but I am OK with it regarding punctuation. Punctuation can't save your life."

"Eats shoots and leaves":

"Eats, shoots, and leaves"

(With apologies to Lynne Truss )