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More Punctuation Malarky: A Crisis of Commas

Comma_photo

A passing remark on The Guardian Books Blog cost me dearly in woman-hours in the run up to Christmas. Blogger Alison Flood reviewed a self-published novel to test whether the online praise for the book was justified. (Mary Campisi’s A Family Affair – not my own cup of tea). I won’t present Alison’s conclusions, only her first comment:

First up, the commas. She employs the scattergun approach.

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Rethinking Em-Dashes and Other Punctuation Malarky

Ellipses

Six pages into my manuscript, for the final (absolutely final) read-through before e-publication, I decided to check whether em-dashes require character spaces.

Here’s the two lines of dialogue that prompted this check:

‘You were worried. I wasn’t —’

‘I over-reacted. I didn’t mean it.’

but maybe it should be this:

‘You were worried. I wasn’t—’

‘I over-reacted. I didn’t mean it.’

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