ONE: CORRECT PUNCTUATION IS IMPORTANT
I frequently come across many errors of punctuation in my students’ writing.
Hoping to catch me unaware one day, a student asked me, “What does a panda do in a restaurant?”
To this, I replied, “It eats shoots, and leaves.”
In fact, this line is taken off the title of Lynne Truss’ book, in which the writer demonstrates that the inappropriate use of the comma (or any punctuation mark for that matter) can have unintended results.
Does the speaker intend to refer to the panda as a cute, cuddly creature that “eats (bamboo) shoots” then “leaves” the place, or as a menacing creature that after “eating”, takes out his gun to “shoot” at the things/people around him, before “leaving”, as in “eats, shoots and leaves” ?
Here’s another one:
A woman without her man is nothing.
A woman, without her, man is nothing.
Spot the difference? J So, be sure you write what you mean. Punctuate your sentences correctly!