0924_Needed: Punctuation (2)

Without little marks and spaces, written language is not easy to understand

Discover the delights of proper punctuation


In this month ST language future, we want to highlight the importance of punctuation. Of course, we don’t use punctuation when we’re speaking. We use gestures, pauses, tones and volume instead. However, when we’re writing in language, punctuation is essential. Without these marks and spaces, written language is very difficult to understand. In fact, a misplaced or missing punctuation mark could result in a huge understanding.


[Vicky & Chelsea]

Since that time, other marks have enlarged (bigger) the punctuation family. The exclamation mark comes from the Latin word io. It was originally formed by putting an upper-case I on a lower-case o. the Latin word io means exclamation of joy. The question mark originally started out as the Latin word questio, meaning question. Eventually, scholars (do lots of reading, expert in reading) put it at the end of a sentence to show a question. Over time, it became a symbol formed by putting a lower-case q on an o.
Punctuation is still changing today. New marks are coming into
existence  /ɪɡˈzɪstəns/, and old punctuation marks are used in new ways. Take for example, the interrobang. This 1962 invention combines the question mark and exclamation mark for times when writers want both. For example, She did what or How much did you pay for that dress Obviously (It is easy to understand or see), the interrobang is not widely used or recognized – yet. But its invention shows that English is not yet finished with its punctuation.

[Traditional Chinese Translation]

[More Information]

When you’re writing in any language it’s important to have a good command of that language’s punctuation. After all, one misplaced punctuation mark could drastically [ˈdræstɪkḷɪ]  change the meaning of sentence! Two punctuation marks that are often confused are the colon and semicolon. Two more to watch out for are the dash and the hyphen. As punctuation marks, they perform different functions but they look almost identical


[Ashley & Ken]

: Ken, don’t you need a period after that sentence?
K: What? Whoops you’re right. Somehow I missed that.
A: It happens. And why do you have a semicolon here?
K: A what? Oh, you mean that’s a semicolon? I must have hit the wrong key. I wanted to put a comma there.
A: Semicolons look a lot like commas except they have a dot above the comma.
K: Yeah, speaking of semicolons, why do we use them? I understand when to use commas and periods but I rarely see semicolons.
They are not commonly used except in formal writing. A semicolon is used to separate two independent clauses. For instance, this month I’m going on vacation; it is going to be a lot of fun.
K: Ashley, why didn’t you just put a period there?
A: You could and that’s one way to tell. If there are two complete thoughts in one sentence, meaning they have a subject, verb and object. Then they can be separated by a semicolon. But never put a semicolon at the end of a sentence.
K: Okay. Hey Ashley, look who is on-line?
A: Oh, it’s Linda. Let’s see what she has to say about semicolons?
K: Okay.

L: Hello, friends. You know, sometimes two independent clauses have a conjunctive adverb between them. Conjunctive adverbs are words like however, although, nevertheless and therefore.
To separate the conjunctive adverb from the two independent clauses, a semicolon is placed in front of the adverb and a comma after it. So an example sentences would be I didn’t bring enough cash to the restaurant; therefore, I paid with my credit card.

K: I understand; thus, I have no more questions.
A: (laugh) I’m glad you understand. I want to keep chatting; however, I have to get back to work.
K: Okay.

semicolon是分號,分號在一般的作文當中是比較少用的標點符號。它的功能可以說是介於句點和逗點之間。分號必須要用在兩個完整的句子之間,而這兩個句子是要有關聯的。比如說,This month I’m going on vacation; it is going to be a lot of fun.這是兩個完整的句子,但都跟我的vacation有關。所以中間就可以用分號來取代句點。


The question mark originally started out as the Latin word questio, meaning question.
started out =  began
The question mark originally began as the Latin word questio, meaning question.
The actress started out as a waitress at a small café and then a talent scout discovered her.
The coach always had the boys start out with a warm up session before they began to play basketball.
Paul didn’t know where to find a job, but he knew he could start out by going on the Internet.



enlarge (v) 擴大,擴充
The office building
was enlarged last year.
I asked the photo shop to enlarge a picture of my children.
The strategy to enlarge our potential market has worked well so far.
existence (n)
Many people believe in the existence of aliens.
The existence of dinosaurs can be proven with fossils.
Drawings from the ancient Mayans are still in existence today.
obviously (adv)
Eric was obviously offended by the rude customer, but he stayed well-mannered.
Obviously, people don’t write letters that often anymore. After e-mail came along, letter writing slowed down.


exclaim   /ɪkˈskleɪm/ DJ   /ɪk’sklem/ KK

1.       to say something suddenly and loudly, especially because of strong emotion or pain (由於強烈的情感或痛苦而)驚叫,呼喊 verb written

    • ‘It isn’t fair!’, he exclaimed angrily. “這不公平!他氣憤地喊道。 V speech
    • She opened her eyes and exclaimed in delight at the scene. 看到這情景,她瞪着眼睛,高興得大叫起來。 

whoop   /wuːp/ DJ   /wup/ KK   /huːp/ DJ   /hup/ KK

  • noun

1.       a loud cry expressing joy, excitement, etc. (高興、激動等時的)高喊,大叫

      • whoops of delight/laughter 高興的喊叫;哈哈大笑


come along

1.       to arrive; to appear 到達;抵達;出現

    • When the right opportunity comes along, she’ll take it. 適當的機會來臨時,她會抓住的。

2.       to go somewhere with somebody 跟隨;跟着來

    • I’m glad you came along. 有你跟我一起來,我很高興。

3.       to improve or develop in the way that you want 進步;進展

    • Your French has come along a lot recently. 你的法語最近進步很大。

4.       used in orders to tell somebody to hurry, or to try harder (用於命令)趕快,加把勁

    • Come along! We’re late already. 快點!我們已經遲到了。
    • Come along! It’s easy! 再加把勁!這很容易!


upper case

1.       capital letters (= the large form of letters, for example A, B, C rather than a, b, c) 大寫字母 noununcountable

    • Headings should be in upper case. 標題應該大寫。
    • See also: 

lower case

  • Derivative: 

upper case adjective

    • upper-case letters 大寫字母




enlarge (v) 擴大
upper-case (n)
lower-case (n)
scholar (n)
existence (n) 
obviously (adv)



exclamation, exclaim, enlarge, upper-case, lower-case, scholars, existence, obviously, over time, whoop, alien, ally, fossil, offend


be coming into existence, take for example, be proven with, in existence, since that time,



over time

after ~ come along, 


He is a scholar in Chinese literature.

The existence of their first kid means that they need to work harder and take more responsibility in the future.

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