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The Penguin Guide to Punctuation (Penguin Reference Books) Paperback – June 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Reference Books
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin UK (June 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140513663
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140513660
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 5.1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Francisco Coutinho on March 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is the best book on punctuation that I know. Each punctuation mark is very well explained. However, to be brief, I will comment only on how professor Trask explains the use of the comma. He says that there are only four uses of the comma. He lists the four uses of the comma and presents a test designed to help you to decide for yourself if a comma is used properly or not. Sometimes it is hard to apply the test. For example consider the following sentence that you can find on page 39 of the book. "The situation is clear: if you have unprotected sex with a stranger, you risk AIDS." Now try to apply professor Trask test to decide if the comma in this sentence is correct or not. I have tried the test in other examples and found it very easy to use. This should be compared with the, also excellent, approach by professor Anne Stilman in the book "Grammatically correct". She lists six rules on how to use the comma each rule with several sub cases. I personally prefer professor Trask approach. The approach to the comma example is the same to the other punctuation marks. Every one of them is carefully explained in probably the most possible concise away
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ian R. Thomas on September 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
Picked up Trask's Penguin Guide to Punctuation in Oxford UK this July, read it on the flight home and am already using it for executive English improvement classes.

It's neat because it's not pretentious and strips away most of the historically rigid and stern grammar and punctuation 'rules'of the last 50 years. The author wants to make punctuation a 'living' art, and clear communication and sense of meaning are more important than abiding by old disciplines. He uses plently of sample phrases and sentences to illustrate 'correct'usage and highlights definite 'no nos'.

Differences between American and British punctuation are covered, but rather superficially. In its 180 pages there is enough to keep you on the right track.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Florence Nakayiza on August 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
Dr Trask combines readabilty with rigor in a virtuoso treatise. Buy it!
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Format: Paperback
If you ever struggle with knowing the precise punctuation to use, this is the book to buy. It's clear, concise, and full of examples. It's very easy to look up something if you're not quite sure. I keep it by my desk all the time, and recommend it to everyone.
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