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“Most of us can’t remember a time before we learned to punctuate.” (Truss, Eats. Shoots, & Leaves p134)

“We perhaps remember learning to read and to spell, but not the moment when we found out that adding the symbol “!” to a sentence somehow changed the tone of voice it was read in” (135). This made me think of when I become a teacher and how I’m going to teach why we use the exclamation point. A period means the sentence and thought is over, the question mark clearly means a question is being asked, but an exclamation point? I know it changes the context of a thought. Truss mentions that it is a good thing we learn this in grade school so there.

I like how Truss mentions that a question mark takes up more space on a page than an exclamation point and yet it is less likely to get on peoples’ nerves. An exclamation point is used to grab the reader’s attention.  I also use them when I’m trying to be funny or sarcastic.


Greta Carroll said:

Angelica, exclamation marks can be a scary thing. How do you teach their use to kids? You don’t want them to go crazy with them, nor do you want them to write them off completely. However, you picked an interesting quote. I certainly cannot remember learning what punctuation marks where for, I’m sure I learned at some point, but their use is so engrained in our minds from such a young age that we cannot even remember what and when we learned about them. Maybe it is because they are so drilled into us that we don’t stop to consider their use. Punctuation marks are elementary; we think to ourselves, we learned that back in grade school. But the problem is we can’t we remember what we learned, and thus don’t know how to use them. I think this is part of the problem of why people have such difficulties with grammar. And it is an important concept for us future teachers to remember—no matter how basic something may be, it can never hurt to review it with our students to be sure that they do know how to use a comma, a period, or anything else.

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