The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports


July 19, 2012

Punctuation can make a world of difference in meaning

When you read, do you notice errors in spelling, omitted words, incorrect words or wrong punctuation? Many do; others don't until it's brought to their attention. You see what you want to see, and it's difficult and/or impossible to proofread your own work. One of my passions is reading books on word origins, usage and punctuation. Many of these books have examples of how to use words and punctuation correctly and include classic bloopers as well.

It's interesting to see how the placement of punctuation marks can completely and radically change the meaning of a statement. My all-time favorite sentence follows, and as you'll see, even though the words never change, the simple act of punctuation gives you two completely different thoughts.

A woman without her man is nothing.

A woman, without her man, is nothing.

A woman: without her, man is nothing.

Summer Reading

"The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids" by Whitney Cohen and John Fisher is filled with more than 100 ideas of family-friendly projects. From designing and planting a kid-friendly garden to picking and playing in the garden, you'll have lots of time outdoors. Then there's the preparation and preserving, and of course, eating your harvests. Instructions, photos and helpful charts are included.

While you're outside enjoying the summer, don't forget the barbecue. Our newest book on barbecuing is "America's Best Ribs." Ardie Davis and Chef Paul Kirk, experts on barbecue, have compiled a book full of instructions, tips and award-winning recipes to show you how to make them at home. There are so many varieties, it will take you a couple of summers to try them all.

Siri Bergman can't shake the feeling that someone is watching her in "Some Kind of Peace." Author Camilla Grebe sets her novel in Stockholm. Siri is a psychologist and when one of her patients ends up dead, her sense of unease increases. Her cat is abducted and when she receives a photo of herself from a stalker, she knows she'll be the next target. Can she figure out who is trying to target her before anything happens?

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