Punctuation is the set of signals that give meaning to strings of words. Incorrect punctuation often has unintended consequences, ranging from changing the meaning completely to simply annoying the reader. This course succinctly reviews the punctuation marks in use today. The exposition about each mark begins with a humorously posed set of vignettes describing common misuses and misunderstandings, proceeds to trace the history of the mark's development and usage by printers, and closes with a set of rules for proper application, accompanied by examples. Reference to sources on the Internet is made from time to time, leading the teacher to consider a wide range of resources. This course provides a painless guide to a subject that is often dull and deadly, explores its role in conveying precision in writing, and may generate enthusiasm for identifying the egregious examples seen daily in public print. The course requires teachers to generate units that illustrate correct and incorrect usage of particular marks, thus leading immediate application of the materials (and, if done in the spirit of the text, to a good time in the classroom).
Professional development courses for teachers.
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