Talk:Punctuation

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Older comments[edit]

The table with the punctuation marks left out the most commonly used one - period (.) KevinJosephSpring 08:10, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Can anyone tell me what the symbol is called, for the end of a printed magazine article, which indicates that it is the end of the article.

The symbols themselves are "dingbats" and, when it's used to denote an end-of-story, it's called a "bug." Rangergordon (talk) 02:46, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

_____

I've been thinking about the disambiguation of (punctuation) and (rhetoric) in the descriptions of apostrophe, period, comma, and so forth. These three, at any rate, were rhetorical figures first and then became punctuation marks used to indicate that the rhetorical figure was being employed. Granted, apostrophe has wandered pretty far away, but period still means "a sentence" as well as "the mark at the end of a sentence". Wouldn't it be more informative if these were discussed in the same article rather than separately, with links from both a general rhetoric article and a general punctuation article? Ortolan88


Braces and curly brackets.

Why does it matter to the definitions in here, if they are "unicode preferred" or not? To me, "curly brackets" is slang - {} are braces. According to www.m-w.com, they are "5 a : one of two marks { } used to connect words or items to be considered together" - it does not mention "curly brackets".

m-w is not an authority. OED might be but m-w definitely is not.

Under Bracket (punctuation), I'd also like some explanation of why they are used. Will see what I can determine.

While we're at it, should we add "angle brackets" (greater than/less than as used in html)?

--justfred


I added some examples under Bracket (punctuation). Could use some more, particularly the poetic or musical use of braces.

I also looked up the words braces and brackets, which, it would appear, the Unicode bureaucracy did not bother to do, and found that despite the accident of spelling, they don't even have the same derivation:

  • braces comes from a word meaing "to enclose within the spread of two arms", same as embrace
  • brackets turns out (get ready for this one!) to come from a word meaning "codpiece"! Think about it and you'll get it.

Ortolan88


I added a cross-reference to orthography. I think the existing content of this articles, and the "comma (punctuation)" etc. articles it references, is to describe

  1. English orthography
  2. Encoding of the appropriate characters in Unicode.

I think it would be improved if it were put in a larger context of "Latin script" (not Latin alphabet) orthography, with the English language rules added in as one part of the detail. The references to lexeme and grapheme would fit better if there were this context, in my opinion.

There'a slso a lot of room to add the history of the various marks, and the evolution of their usage over time.

--jdlh


I added space (punctuation) as a punctuation mark. The space has an interesting way of getting overlooked, because one doesn't make any marks to write it. I will argue that for the purposes of this article, it meets the test: "written symbols that do not correspond to either phonemes of a spoken language nor to lexemes of a written language, but which serve to organize or clarify writings".

Actually, it's actually an interesting philosphophical question whether the space is a punctuation mark or a convention of letters positioning. It certainly is non-trivial. Not all scripts have spaces for interword separation. The Latin script didn't have spaces until 900-something AD. I hope someone will explore these issues in the space (punctuation) article. (I've put these ideas there too.)

Also added interword separation and interpunct as part of adding the Space reference.

--jdlh


At 15:34 Jun 23, 2002, Art made an edit that put "more" into parens after the bullet. This looks to me like a note from Art to Art, "remember to put more in here." Can anybody (Art? You here?) explain what the "more" means or is for? If it is meaningful, can we perhaps get a clearer description?

Ducky

What about "|"?[edit]

What about the 'thing above the backslash'? I don't even know what to call the '|' which is what I came looking to this page for.... ;-> Jake 18:49, 7 May 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia uses "pipe trick", which transforms automatically [[Jupiter (planet)|]] to Jupiter. But I don't think we have an article on pipe (punctuation)

(coincidentally, it could a pipe trick as well!). Definitely worth it. It's a useful sign! --Menchi 18:53, 7 May 2004 (UTC) Comma means slow down reading last letter, and | means pause for half seconds.

I suggest you read Vertical bar. Myrvin (talk) 12:51, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Featured article candidate?: History of punctuation and how it is used in other writing systems[edit]

I have just nominated you for featured article status (the article Punctuation).


I did this because it told me a lot more about some punctuation marks than Lynne Truss's book EATS, SHOOTS AND LEAVES.


However, if it's to be a real featured article, it doesn't tell nearly enough.


Could whoever's editing it expand on the history of punctuation in general? I mean, explain HOW 21st-century American use is different from 15th-century Italian use. (And are you aware of any good public-domain pictures of texts and manuscripts of different times too?) I don't nearly have enough information, but I'm sure it's actionable.


On balance, there doesn't seem to be enough information on other writing systems and how they use punctuation. The ones I specifically have in mind are Arabic, Greek and Hebrew. Some African languages (really enjoyed reading the information on the exclamation mark, by the way, it was very informative).


These are the two main objections so far to punctuation being a featured article. I like all the individual articles. They did say that there needed to be more information about the comma and full stop, and whether there were some new ones being created (the last I can recall is the interrobang and that was created in 1962, not counting smilies/emoticons).


Thank you very much, EuropracBHIT 11:59, 3 Jul 2004 (UTC)

History of punctuation would be great!! Or should it be History of English punctuation? 210.245.69.246 07:15, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

English language punctuation[edit]

I would encourage anyone with knowledge of punctuation in English to expand this article. In particular, I'm interested in the history of punctuation, where it came from, and how it's changed over time. This would also give some balance to the great deal of information in the article on Japanese and Chinese punctuation. --Zippy 11:25, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Also a well-balanced section about (mis)usage of punctuation in the context of chat, sms messages etc. would IMHO be interesting. Maybe that belongs to a wider article about new forms of written communication in general, though. --Gennaro Prota 15:54, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Exclamation point and braces[edit]

I have never heard "exclamation mark" before. Is this British? Also, I think we should split the braces into square braces, curly braces and angle braces. Then we should have a separate line for parentheses. Otherwise we are leaving out terminology on the basic punctuation article. These could, however, all link to the brackets article. Searching Google for "curly braces", "curly brackets", "square braces", "square brackets", the braces variant was always more popular. --Chuck SMITH 08:45, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Yes, it's British. It should thus be included. SergioGeorgini 13:21, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm American, and "exclamation mark" sounds complete normal to me. I'm not sure what else you would call it. Mcswell 12:05, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
I would call it an "exclamation point," as signified in the title of this section. While saying exclamation mark is still clear, I have always referred to it as a "point." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kellahinx (talkcontribs) 23:54, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Font problems[edit]

I notice that a lot of the non-ASCII Unicode characters don't appear on the computer I'm using (or rather, they show up as a question mark--particularly confusing in an article on punctuation!). This includes the Ethiopic characters, as well as the Unicode special punctuation block chars. (Oddly, the dandas appear fine.) Is it not common for a wikipedia article with potential font issues to have a side bar (a box near the upper right-hand corner) that explains how to solve these problems? Mcswell 12:05, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't know where to begin...[edit]

This article really needs complete rewriting. It consists of hardly more than (a) a badly written couple of introductory paragraphs, (b) a tabular list of punctuation marks, and (c) an essay about Asian punctuation marks. Should the East Asian stuff form a separate article, or should it be balanced by more stuff on punctuation systems in Indo-European languages? Should there be more on the history of punctuation? One day, if I have time... Meanwhile, anyone else have any thoughts? Snalwibma 13:31, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

More on the history of punctuation is needed. If I get time, I can do something on this. The intro needs a rewrite and the long essay about Asian punctuation should either go later in the article or be a separate article. Neil Dodgson 18:32, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
OK, I have made an attempt to do all the above, and have re-ordered the sections to flow more sensibly. Neil Dodgson 06:49, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I think we now have a tidy page. Neil Dodgson 13:17, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

East Asian Section[edit]

The East Asian looks to be a disaster to me. Most of the East Asian punctuations have 1-to-1 correspondence to elements in English. The current bullet paragraphs are difficult to read, and mix them together. --Voidvector 12:58, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

I cleaned up the page down to that point about a month ago. I'd vote to move the East Asian section to a new page and to then have a short section on "Non-Roman Languages" which points to those new pages. This would also require us to cut down the subsequent section on Other Languages, which may be no bad thing. Neil Dodgson 13:03, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
Moving the section to its own page would better. Most of their functions are the same (just look different) with some customary differences. --Voidvector 13:10, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
OK. Done. Neil Dodgson 13:16, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
I am reading into other articles on the subject, it seems most of the articles already contain special usages for each language. Do we actually need a combined article? (e.g. Quotation mark, non-English usage, Asian full stop) --Voidvector 15:19, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, we do need a combined article on Punctuation for those coming fresh to the subject. Whether we need a combined article on East Asian Punctuation is debatable. However, someone went to a great deal of trouble to write the East Asian Punctuation material and it would be sad to simply delete it. Neil Dodgson 08:15, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Touche. --Voidvector 03:55, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

One or two spaces after a full stop[edit]

SpaceySpacing added this comment:

Although the placing of two spaces after a period or "full stop" has become the norm, certain obstinate, exasperating secretaries cling to the misguided notion that one space is all that is required. One claimant even went so far as to initiate a lawsuit in New York State. See Michele v. Common Sense, N.Y.2d 578 (3rd Dept., 2007).

While it may be usual practice in the USA, it is not the norm to place two spaces after a full stop in most other countries. It is my understanding that the placing of two spaces after a full stop was introduced when mechanical typewriters were used. There is no need to use two spaces today, as any decent typesetting system will automatically introduce a slightly wider space after a full stop. For example, TeX does this automatically. Neil Dodgson 08:44, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

References[edit]

(this is copied from my talk page, just thought it was relevant that the discussion should be put in here)

When you cleaned up the references in Punctuation, the references to Todd and Truss moved out of the References section and into the Notes section. Can you do something to get them back into the References section so that they join all the other references? Neil Dodgson 20:27, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Ahh, didn't see there was a seperation between the book references and the online reference already in the page - removed that now, all references in one section. Hengler 22:47, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I've moved the numbered references (which have inline references in the text) to be before the bulletted references (which are not refered to from the text) Neil Dodgson 15:34, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Not a worldwide prespective[edit]

When the article is named "punctuation", why should it be separated into "History of English punctuation" and "other language"? What I mean is that why English is so special that it should be separated from "other languages"? I think a better way is to incoperate all materials under a section like "punctuation in different languages" with "English punctuation" being one part of the section.

Moreover, in the section "History of English punctuation", I found that most of the information is not really the history of English punctuation. Since the languages being mentioned are Greek and Latin, I think it should be the "history of punctuation of European languages" as a whole. The mere information which belongs to "History of English punctuation" is the last paragraph in that section only. Salt 08:02, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

This is the English language edition of Wikipedia, which more or less justifies any bias toward that particular language. Wikipeditor 08:32, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Wikipeditor; this is the English language edition of Wikipedia. With regard to the history of English punctuation, which I summarised from Loreto Todd's "The Cassell Guide to Punctuation" (Cassell, 2000, ISBN 978-0304349616), the history does go back to the Greeks, as does the punctuation in many European languages, but the bias is towards that which has influenced English punctuation. Neil Dodgson 10:06, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
There are valid reasons, as this is the English language edition, to give examples using English, and it is understandable that we currently have more detail on punctuation in the English language. But much of what was included in the English section applies to many European languages, so the section title was misleading. I've renamed the section to indicate its more general nature, and given the section specific to the English language its own section. Warofdreams talk 00:07, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
There does seem to be an abrupt leap from the introductory section to the "other languages" section. While it does seem natural in the English-language edition of Wikipedia to use "other languages" to mean non-English languages, before beginning a section about "other" languages, shouldn't there be a section that at least mentions English punctuation? Rangergordon (talk) 02:53, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Misplaced symbols[edit]

I have noticed a contradiction in this article.

"Punctuation marks are symbols that correspond to neither phonemes (sounds) of a language nor to lexemes (words and phrases), but which serve to indicate the structure and organization of writing, as well as intonation and pauses to be observed when reading it aloud. See orthography."

While the statement is correct, there is still many symbols listed in the punctuation box which are symbols not punctuation. I bring your attention to the ampersand, accounting symbol, the various currency symbols (which take the place of the words for the various currencies), the degree symbol, the hash mark, the numero symbol, percent symbol (and related), and the therefore symbol. These should be listed in a separate article (Symbols?) with a notation and link from this page to people who are not certain where to start looking for these symbols and start with this article first.

Rod Lockwood (talk) 15:12, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Erroneous definition of punctuation[edit]

The article begins, "Punctuation is everything in written language other than the actual letters or numbers, including punctuation marks (listed at right), inter-word spaces and indentation.[1]".

This is cute -- but vastly wrong, and should be changed immediately. Like, how about defining punctuation by what it is rather than by what it isn't?

Punctuation is not indentation or the spacing between words. It is not the font or font-size used. It is not the color of the text or its background. It is not the spacing between lines. Regardless of whether Loreto Todd -- the referent in [1] -- claims it is.

Here is how a typical dictionary (Encarta online) defines it (in the sense used here):

"marks used to organize writing: the standardized nonalphabetical symbols or marks that are used to organize writing into clauses, phrases, and sentences, and in this way make its meaning clear".

No dictionary whatsoever that I've checked suggests that space between words or anywhere else as punctuation.Daqu (talk) 10:37, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

I totally agree with you that the definition is quite problematic. First, it is not a good idea to define something from what it is NOT. Second, From what I've learnt in my education, I don't think things like inter-word spaces are kinds of punctuation. Last but not least, the current definition is biased towards languages using alphabets when it define punctuation as "everything in written language other than the actual letters or numbers". For example, in written Chinese, there are no letters. So, according to this definition, every Chinese characters are all punctuation, which doesn't make sense at all. So I support the use of the definition you mentioned above. Salt (talk) 14:40, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Supplemental punctuation[edit]

According to http://www.unicode.org/charts/symbols.html, supplemental punctuation is assigned to U+2E00–U+2E7F range. The U+E000–U+E0FF range is part of the Private Use Area where by definition no characters are defined by the Unicode Consortium. 10:01, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Ethiopian marks?[edit]

At the foot of the 'Other languages' section, we now have:

Ethiopian languages, including Amharic, Tigrinya, Ge'ez and Afaan Oromo, make use of these punctuation marks: space (), comma (), sentence end (), semicolon (), colon (), preface colon (), question mark (), paragraph separator ().

It's been like that for at least a year—not really very helpful, eh? If the actual symbols cannot be inserted, I think it's time we deleted the sentence, say one week from today. Cheers Bjenks (talk) 03:43, 19 August 2008 (UTC) Nah, why wait, when the stuff can be reverted anytime! Bjenks (talk) 06:42, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

One or two terms?[edit]

In many national wikipedias terms "punctuation" (linguistics brancs) and "punctuation marks" (symbols) have separate articles. While in others they are joined. What to do with interwiki? Temporarily I keep only those which have join articles. Infovarius (talk) 19:35, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

He is a clever, effcient manager.[edit]

He is a clever, effcient manager. Is this correct

umlaut[edit]

why is the umlaut not listed? lt certainly SEEMS to have wide-spread usage. (User talk:Paleocon44|talk]]) 21:16, 10 December 2009 (

Two-parts signs spacing[edit]

This article should address spacing around signs made of two parts (i.e. colon, semicolon, exclamation and question marks, etc.). I remember having read somewhere (I thought it was in WP, but I can't find where : the only relevant section seems to be here) that the usage of not spacing before these signs in English arose from the distribution of low quality publications about 50 years ago. If true, this should be mentioned. Skippy le Grand Gourou (talk) 12:00, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Unfamiliar word used with no definition/explanation[edit]

In your article you refer to the English playwright, George Bernard Shaw as: (vis George Bernard Shaw). I've never heard "vis" before and don't know what it means. When I "Wikipedia-ed" it, it gave me a ton of options - only one of which was "a genderless pronoun". When I selected that it basically confirmed that, yes it was a genderless personal pronoun. My confusion, and question is: WHICH personal pronoun is "vis" used in place of? (I don't know, so I don't understand what is being said). Please define. Thank you. 198.108.192.49 (talk) 14:12, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Other languages[edit]

I certainly think it's legit to mention punctuation in other langauges, at least in passing, but the point should be made that it can be very different. I disagree strongly that "Other European languages use much the same punctuation as English". Many (probably most) other languages have much more rigid rules concerning punctuation, which in English is often simply a matter of taste and clarity and can, IMHO, frequently make the difference between good and bad or even unintellgible writing. In German, for example, it's mandatory to set a comma between clauses in a sentence - not to do this would seem illiterate. I also know of at least one instance in Russian (TAK KAK and TAK, KAK) where a comma makes the difference between "as" (in the sense of "because") and "as" in the sense of "how", "in a particular manner". Just to mention two examples known to my humble self!Maelli (talk) 14:02, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Deleted Links[edit]

Why cannot be here internal link on other wiki term Diacritic !!! and useful link to Punctuation Remover --LiborX (talk) 14:07, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Apparent Inconsistency in History Section[edit]

The Article first says that the first known document using punctuation was in the 9th Century AD... then there are two examples (Ancient Greek and Roman) of punctuation being used before that. Maybe there is a subtle definition of "document" that I am missing out on- if so it should be clarified. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.255.14.76 (talk) 18:36, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Dont you know that you ve to do it today — Preceding unsigned comment added by 122.169.144.165 (talk) 15:05, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

"eats, shoots and leaves"[edit]

I applaud the inclusion of this phrase in this article. The introduction of double entendre helps WP better reflect the complexity that languages contain. 124.149.82.184 (talk) 07:03, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

I'm going to add a comma, although either way is acceptable as I understand it. That is Eats, shoots, and leaves is equivalent to (but slightly clearer than) Eats, shoots and leaves.72.172.11.121 (talk) 17:39, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

Mistake that I have found in punctuation page[edit]

In Currency Symbols, The symbol for Rupee is not updated.

Thankyou.

Minoan script[edit]

Somebody should correct that the Minoan script, long centuries before the Mesha stele, separates words by horizontal lines, and sentences by spaces or change of line; another device of the Minoan script is using small letters or acronyms to specify the meaning of sketches. Also the old Sumerian script (forerunner of cuneiform)delineates boxes to put each word of small group of words, and this is of course a form of punctuation. The ancient Egyptian script often uses "capsules". And the ancient alphabetic Greek script used often a kind of colon (several dots in a vertical line) to separate parts of poetic lines or parts of sentences. Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.107.204.124 (talk) 13:27, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

Grammar[edit]

Punctuation, is in the grammar categories, and the two topics seem to be linked quite fundamentally, but this article hardly mentions grammar at all, I may try to add it in the descriptions a bit my self, but I thought I may bring it up here in case some one better at writing this kind of article wants to incorporate it.  Carlwev  19:57, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

Hello there! That's a good point; would you find this edit good enough for clarifying the relation between punctuation and grammar? — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 06:10, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
When did "punctuation" become just "punctuation marks?". The first paragraph has become very specific, ignoring e.g. the action of punctuation. I have added two cited descriptions of punctuation, rather than beginning with what looks as if it is too specific and rather OR. I also don't understand what it means to say: "Punctuation marks, as part of the natural languages grammar, are symbols that indicate the structure and organization of a language." What are these marks if they are not "part of the natural languages grammar"? Does it mean "Punctuation marks ARE part of the ...."? If so, we need a citation to say that a reference thinks so. And do these marks really indicate the structure and organization of a language? Myrvin (talk) 10:47, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your help. I always thought the two were linked, but this conversation suggests otherwise, I'm confused, it appears what I always thought was obvious, actually may or may not be true? I think we should follow published/reliable sources on definitions and whether they're linked. In fact according to the "rules" we should follow reliable sources for all statements on Wiki, but that's another issue.  Carlwev  17:29, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Well, the fact that "punctuation [only] depends on grammar" is somewhat new to me, but I guess it's more important to have grammar and punctuation burned into one's neural paths rather than having its nature precisely defined in textbooks – speaking of regular people and not of those professionally dealing with linguistics, of course. But again, that burning is impossible without good textbooks. :) — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 06:54, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
I've removed the following text:

Punctuation marks, as part of the natural languages grammar, are symbols that indicate the structure and organization of a language when writing, as well as the intonation and pauses to be observed when reading.

Perhaps some of it could go back in, but I don't know what. Is it necessary now? Myrvin (talk) 19:22, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Current version is fine with me; however, it's a bit unusual for an opening paragraph to be based strictly on a few quotations. — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 06:54, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

“question comma”, “exclamation comma”[edit]

Moved from Kwamikagami's Talk page.

I thought the point of these new marks was that the ole Q mark and E mark could only be put at the end of sentences so COULD NOT be used in the same way as the new marks that can appear within a sentence. Myrvin (talk) 11:16, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

The proposer may have believed that, in which case they were wrong, or they may have intended the new marks to distinguish the two uses of the existing onse. It certainly is an intuitive proposal, but since capitalization indicates the beginning of a new sentence, it's not really needed. Exclamation marks in the middle of a sentence are quite common, and there are some examples in our article. Question marks less so, at least in English, but I added one example I found in a style guide. — kwami (talk) 18:08, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Surely the question is what the marks were meant to do, and we should report that. I found this [1]. The transcription is dreadful, but you can see that they thought that ? and ! would finish the sentence. They say: "In a way, use of these new punctuation marks involves moving the top part of the question or exclamation mark from the end of a sentence, leaving a plain period at the end of the sentence, and repositioning this top part over a comma which probably would be wanted, for example, after an interrogatory or exclamatory clause.". There is also this [2]. I don't think I agree with you that ! often appears in the middle of a sentence (except as (!) or in a quote), and that the new marks would not. As far as I remember a ! is always followed by a new sentence - as is a ?. The article on Exclamation mark says the mid-sentence use is obsolescent. I can't find your counter examples. Myrvin (talk) 18:47, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

I don't disagree with you. That clearly is what the marks were intended for, as is obvious from their design.
The patent is rather bizarre. AFAIK you can't legally patent that kind of thing. — kwami (talk) 19:54, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Notae Sententiarum[edit]

I added to Commons File:Notae Sententiarum.gif, a page from Isadore of Seville listing all the punctuation symbols he was aware of.

I also deleted "vis George Bernard Shaw" and the accompanying reference. The "vis" phrase means nothing. The reference was just a webpage that copied what was here. Choor monster (talk) 13:49, 4 September 2014 (UTC)