Making a Point: The Pernickety Story of English Punctuation (Hardback)
  • Making a Point: The Pernickety Story of English Punctuation (Hardback)
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Making a Point: The Pernickety Story of English Punctuation (Hardback)

(author)
£12.99
Hardback 400 Pages / Published: 17/09/2015
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Behind every punctuation mark lie a thousand stories. The punctuation of English, marked with occasional rationality, is founded on arbitrariness and littered with oddities. For a system of a few dozen marks it generates a disproportionate degree of uncertainty and passion, inspiring organisations like the Apostrophe Protection Society and sending enthusiasts, correction-pens in hand, in a crusade against error across the United States. Professor Crystal leads us through this minefield with characteristic wit, clarity and commonsense. He gives a fascinating account of the origin and progress of every kind of punctuation mark over one and a half millennia, and he offers sound advice on how punctuation may be used to meet the needs of every occasion and context.

‘Here is a learned and subtle book that amuses as it instructs, and instructs as it amuses.’ - The Guardian

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781781253502
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 525 g
Dimensions: 204 x 138 x 36 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS
Praise for David Crystal: 'Entertaining ... Crystal's many examples show that the development of English spelling is as random, unsystematic and anomalous as the British constitution. English spelling is as rich a mixture of anachronism, privilege and fashion as the House of Lords * Sunday Times *
A prolific author ... he can write with authority on trends in the spelling of rhubarb and indeed on the history of the spelling of any tricky word you care to mention. For him, the patterns are clear ... highly entertaining * Observer *
Crystal does an excellent job, not just of tracing the etymology of a word, but of relating it to social history, painting a picture of our times through words * Independent on Sunday *
The big four - comma, semicolon, colon and full stop - were for a long time, and insanely, regarded as precise measurements of a pause: a full stop was worth four commas. The book's full of this sort of curio: interesting on first encounter; illuminating on investigation ... Here is a learned and subtle book that amuses as it instructs, and instructs as it amuses. It deserves to sell three million -- Sam Leith * Guardian *
David Crystal's superb new book is packed full of illuminating examples of the political, social and technological forces that have driven the evolution of English punctuation. With crisp, tight prose punctuated with self-conscious precision, Crystal provides not only a historical guide but an indispensable reference manual that doesn't so much lay down the law as provide a rational framework * South China Morning Post *
David Crystal's engaging history of punctuation... sprint[s] from eight-century Britain to the modern world in less than 100 pages...Mr Crystal treats his chosen period with enthusiasm and insight. -- Keith Houston * Wall Street Journal *
Crystal (Spell It Out) will delight anyone interested in written language with this exploration and explication of English's deceptively complex system of punctuation ... he brings scholarly acumen and gravity, as well as delight and good humor, to his subject. * Publishers Weekly *

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