This guide to punctuation emphasizes the practical nature of the compilation.
Carey's book, if only because of its age, highlights the changing nature of language. As words change, as grammatical structure glissades from one generation into another, so punctuation and appropriate form are open to subtle transformation. Some of Carey's examples can seem a little formal for 21st century tastes, but he clearly and concisely identifies the rules of language and punctuation. The advice is often given to writers - if you're going to break a rule, know what the rule is and why you are breaking it.
Language, grammar, punctuation follows rules and conventions - but these are not set in stone, nor are you damned if you break them ... as long as you can demonstrate you know why and how you do so. The ageing quality of Carey's volume gives you that ability to distance yourself slightly, to question, and, through questioning, to understand the structure and form he is discussing.
Carey offers practical, immediately accessible explanation of punctuation. He delivers straightforward explanations of the role of the full-stop, comma, colon, and semicolon ... which can be the banes of a writer's life. He offers further reflection on the 'superfluous comma', and, of course, the relationship between 'and' and comma.Read more ›