Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Victorian Schoolmistress’ Rules of Punctuation - From my Scrapbook

This is not something that I have written. It is from my scrapbook. I do not know who the author is, nor when it was written, though there is a reference in the caption that may give a rough idea of the period.

A Victorian Schoolmistress’ Rules of Punctuation

Sentences start with a Capital letter,
So as to make your writing better.
Use a full stop to mark the end.
It closes every sentence penned.
The comma is for short pauses and breaks,
And also for the lists the writer makes.
Dashes – like these – are for thoughts by the way.
They give extra information (so do brackets, we may say).
These two dots are colons: they pause to compare.
They also do this: list, explain and prepare.
The semicolon makes a break; followed by a pause.
It does the job of words that link; it’s also a short pause.
An apostrophe shows the owner of anyone’s things,
And it’s also used for shortenings.
I’m so glad! He’s so mad! We’re having such a lark!
To show strong feelings use an exclamation mark!
A question mark follows What? When? Where, Why? And how?
Do you? Can I? Shall we? Give us your answer now!
Quotation marks” enclose what is said
Which is why they are sometimes called “speech marks” instead.

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