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The Penguin Guide to Punctuation (Penguin Reference Books) Paperback – 7 Aug 1997

4.7 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (7 Aug. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140513663
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140513660
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.9 x 18.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Publisher

A sample extract:

THE APOSTROPHE

5.2 Unusual Plurals

As a general rule, we never use an apostrophe in writing plural forms. (A plural form is one that denotes more than one of something.) Hence the things that those shops are selling are pizzas, videos, fine wines, cream teas, and mountain bikes. It is absolutely wrong to write pizza's, video's, fine wine's, cream tea's, and mountain bike's if you merely want to talk about more than one pizza or video or whatever. The same goes even when you want to pluralize a proper name:

She's trying to keep up with the Joneses.

There are four Steves and three Julies in my class.

Several of the Eleanor Crosses are still standing today.

Do not write things like Jones's, Steve's, Julie's or Eleanor Cross's if you are merely talking about more than one person or thing with that name.

About the Author

R L Trask has taught in the School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences at the University of Sussex since 1988. He is the author of a number of books, including A DICTIONARY OF GRAMMATICAL TERMS IN LINGUISTICS, LANGUAGE CHANGE, LANGUAGE: THE BASICS, A DICTIONARY OF PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGY, HISTORICAL LINGUISTICS and THE HISTORY OF BASQUE.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 3 Dec. 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This a good, straightforward, easy-to-read guide to punctuation. The table of contents is clearly laid out with chapters and sub-headings that allow easy searches for what you need to know - whether it's possessive apostrophes, the ellipsis or the slash that you're looking for.
An excellent reference book for those who want to learn and those who just need a reminder.
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Format: Paperback
"Easy to follow, this step by step guide will dispel the mysteries of punctuation and provide an invaluable aid to writing clear English". This quote from the cover describes "The Penguin Guide to Punctuation" in a nutshell. Well structured, with a clear style and good layout, it deals separately with each area of punctuation, both British and American, and provides illustrative examples for each case.

If you need to learn modern English punctuation quickly and easily, or if you just need a ready reference to verify the punctuation of your writing from time to time, buy this book. Not only is it an excellent book but it is also good value.
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Written by an author who clearly has strong feelings on the subject, this guide addresses each punctuation mark in turn, citing examples to cover every conceivable instance of its use. Differences between British and American usages are always highlighted where necessary (which is a nice touch I haven't seen in many other guides).

Despite being such a small book, the content is pretty much exhaustive, and Trask always expresses his opinion without pontificating. It's also written in an approachable style (where most guides are rigidly formal).

Worth every penny.
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Format: Paperback
Punctuation is the most confusing part of grammar for writers.

This book details the correct usage for each punctuation, in a way that a thirteen year old would understand.

Most definitely the best English lesson I have had.

If you only buy one book on writing/grammar, than I advise you to buy this one.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a very sound guide to correct punctuation. The author has strong opinions, which makes the book more interesting to read. It is full of examples and easy to understand. The book answered every question I had about punctuation.
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If, like me, you were once unsure of when to use a comma; where to place a semi-colon, this book will help you enormously.
Structured simply and written in plain English this book will banish any puzzlement over punctuation.
I really wish someone had shown me this book when I was at school.
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Format: Paperback
An excellent book that gives a very simple recap of how punctuation should be used in the English language. It is logically organised with plenty of excellent examples. Unlike The Penguin Guide to Plain English, a truly awful book, this is both pragmatic and very readable.
I haven't read the 'populist' Eats Shoots and Leaves book yet, and I don't feel compelled to; this little book contains all you need.
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Put down your style guide and grammar books, because this short manual is all you need. Clear, concise and accessible, the 'Penguin Guide to Punctuation' is really all you need if you're unsure about commas, stops and semi-colons. I can't believe I've only just discovered this great little book - it has already become an essential title on my bookshelves.
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