Punc Rocks: Foundation Stones for Precise Punctuation (2e) : 9781442553576

Punc Rocks: Foundation Stones for Precise Punctuation (2e)

Published by
Pearson New Zealand
Available on demand
Title type

Those who believe that all you need to know about commas is that you put them in every time you would take a breath if you were reading a sentence out will be surprised to learn that this lengthy sentence cannot take a comma.

If you are in doubt, you must read this book! Aimed at students, professionals and all who want to produce sound formal writing, Punc Rocks is clear, sensible, even enjoyable.

  • A glossary and index for easy navigation.
  • Exercises (with answers) for D.I.Y. practice.
  • Punc Rocks is a plain English guide to real-world punctuation for formal writing.
Table of contents

Introduction: Punctuation in Practice
Using this book: payout

Chapter 1: Sentence Sense
The English sentence
Ungrammatical sentences

Chapter 2: The Comma Sutra
Non-essential elements: bracketing commas
Essential elements: no commas
Commas with that and which
Commas with modifiers and appositives
Listing commas
Introductory words, phrases and clauses
Joining main clauses: coordinating conjunctions and commas
Where not to use commas
Pragmatic uses

Chapter 3: What’s Mine’s Not Yours!
Punctuation and quotation marks
Semicolons ;
Colons :

Chapter 4: Excuse Me! May I Have the Pleasure?
Exclamation marks !
Question marks ?
Brackets (or parentheses)
Ellipses ...
The dash —
Hyphens -

Chapter 5: Grey Matters
Moments of choice: optional punctuation
Full stop, question mark or exclamation mark?
Semicolon, colon or full stop?
Bracketing options: commas, brackets or dashes?
Essential or non-essential?
British versus American punctuation
Punctuation and quotation marks
Contrasting elements
Creative writing: concrete meaning and creative voice
How punctuation can affect meaning

Chapter 6: Do It Yourself!
Sentence sense
The comma sutra
Excuse me! May I have the pleasure?

Chapter 7: Do It Yourself Answers
Sentence sense
The comma sutra
Excuse me! May I have the pleasure?

Works Consulted

Author biography
Jenny Buxton, Susan Carter and Sean Sturm facilitate the Enormous Mid-Winter and Even Bigger Pre-Christmas Puncfests at the University of Auckland Student Learning Centre. Jenny has a BA in Linguistics and Psychology and RSA Cert. TEFLA and an MA (Hons) in English Literature. Susan and Sean have MA (Hons) and PhDs in English Literature. All are fascinated by the mechanics of language, the art of teaching and the practice of learning.