Crystals story index

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Crystal, David. Making a Point: The pernickety story of English punctuation. London: Profile Books. ISBN After diverse Stories of English, he chose to relate the story of English punctuation, and to answer the following questions, which he raises in the introduction:. Who were the people who introduced punctuation in the English language? Why did they do it? How did their invention evolve over the centuries?

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What is happening to punctuation today? And what is its future? After a transitional chapter, the next eighteen chapters present a punctuation mark each, starting with what the reader might not have envisaged as one, i.

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Two chapters deal with other parts of the language system capitalisation, layout and typographyand the ways punctuation is used on the Internet. The book concludes with non-prescriptive advice. Crystal's story of punctuation begins at the time of King Alfred the Great and the first inscriptions Crystals story index jewels, caskets, and in sermons in the ninth century.

Before the use of spaces, sentences would have looked like this:. The need to identify new sections is one of the steps that gradually gave rise to a sophisticated punctuation system. So several marks were introduced to indicate the beginning of new sections, new lines, as well as the separation of phrases or even syllables in the words. The importance of pauses was indicated with dots pp. Marks were introduced during the Middle English period at the same time as grammar developed.

In the sixteenth century Chapter 7two trends altered attitudes towards punctuation: on the one hand, the interest in spelling shown by scholars and, on the other hand, the use of punctuation by playwrights to guide actors. The next step Chapter 8 was the publishing of pedagogical guides to punctuation in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Making sense.

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Avoiding ambiguity. Each aspect is more or less developed. He includes the layout, the paragraph preferences Chapter 15the topics of indention and the drop capital, 4 to name two.

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Crystal recalls how the dash came to life:. During the nineteenth century, the terminology of an en [ 5 ] and em [ 6 ] became Crystals story index as ways of measuring the amount of printed matter in a line of type. An en was a block of metal type that was the width of the letter N ; an em was the width of the letter M. Crystal discusses the disappearance of the period because of poetry and the Internet. The style is neither formal nor really informal; the author pays special attention to transitions between chapters. Crystal quotes, and which had been the sole reference for years.

However, this new guide is much more than an update of You have a Point There : the organisation, the style and the layout are quite different; they are tackled with in a more reader-friendly manner, and not only because of the choice of the typeface and of the illustrations. Another bestseller about punctuation, Eats, Shoots and Leaves, by Lynne Trusswhich the author mentions in the introduction to his book was also very witty, but it did not cover all the punctuation marks, nor did it mention the history of the terms.

As an academic, I would have preferred full forms, but the author has obviously targeted a wider audience.

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It can be enjoyed either linearly, as a history book, or, thanks to its detailed index, as a reference book. BilefskyDan. Full Stop. CrystalDavid. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. The Stories of English. London: Penguin. English in words. Paris: Le Seuil. P artridgeEric. You Have a Point There: A guide to punctuation and its allies.

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New York: Routledge. TrussLynne. Voir la notice dans le catalogue OpenEdition. — Plan du site. Texte Bibliographie Notes Citation Auteur. Bibliographie BilefskyDan. Haut de. Suivez-nous Flux RSS. Dans tout OpenEdition. Dans ASp. Accueil Catalogue des revues OpenEdition Search. Tout OpenEdition. OpenEdition Freemium.

Crystals story index

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David Crystal