Mentioning Guns N’ Roses yesterday, I realised something: their use of punctuation in their name is perhaps not strictly correct!
This is something lots of people wonder. This is something I wonder sometimes, because commas can be quite complicated, and the rules about using them very specific. So if you’re not too concerned about how to use them, let me just say this:
If you use them in writing where you’d pause when speaking, you’ll probably be fine. In a very basic way, they provide a pause for a reader, just as we give ourselves regular pauses when we speak.
But if you want to know a little more, read on…
It’s Father’s Day today in many parts of the world. I hope you’re being well treated if you’re one of the men honoured by the day. You really never can have too many pairs of socks. Like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, it’s quite an artificial day, but I don’t mind too much really, as sometimes maybe we need a little push to be grateful. Or to at least express our gratitude.
The word father, like mother, isn’t one we actually use all that much of course, instead preferring works like dad, pop, papa et al. These words, like so many of our words to refer to our mothers, are derived from our first babblings as a child.
That little chap there is by far and away the punctuation mark that causes people the most consternation, for a variety of reasons. Some hate it because they have no idea what to do with it, and others hate it because those first people have no idea what to do with it, and it drives them crazy to see it misused or not used at all. Before getting into why people have difficulties with it, and why that infuriates others, let’s look at the basic rules of using the apostrophe. It has three basic functions: Continue reading