Punctuation Quotes

Punctuation Quotes @writeshop

TEACHING students to use proper punctuation requires much time and patience—and sometimes, a little creativity! Last week, we celebrated National Punctuation Day, but the fun doesn’t have to end there. Surprise your kids in the coming weeks by posting fun quotes about punctuation all around the house.

  • Do your kids use special notebooks for grammar and language arts studies? Decorate the covers with a few of these quotes.
  • Copy several quotes onto colorful index cards, and stick them to the refrigerator.
  • Choose large pieces of bright paper, and make “punctuation posters” to mount on bedroom closet doors or kitchen cupboards.

Punctuation Quotes for 1st-6th Graders

“Punctuation marks are the traffic signals of language: they tell us to slow down, notice this, take a detour, and stop.”

~ Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves:
The Zero-Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

“A period is a stop sign. A semicolon is a rolling stop sign; a comma is merely an amber light.”

~ Andrew Offutt

“No iron can pierce the heart with such force as a period put just at the right place.”

~ Isaac Babel

“Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own jokes.”

~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

Punctuation Quotes for 7th-12th Graders

“When speaking aloud, you punctuate constantly — with body language. Your listener hears commas, dashes, question marks, exclamation points, quotation marks as you shout, whisper, pause, wave your arms, roll your eyes, wrinkle your brow. In writing, punctuation plays the role of body language. It helps readers hear the way you want to be heard.”

~ Russell Baker

“Sometimes you get a glimpse of a semicolon coming, a few lines farther on, and it is like climbing a steep path through woods and seeing a wooden bench just at a bend in the road ahead, a place where you can expect to sit for a moment, catching your breath.”

~ Lewis Thomas, “Notes on Punctuation”

“We have a language that is full of ambiguities … all our thoughts can be rendered with absolute clarity if we bother to put the right dots and squiggles between the words in the right places. Proper punctuation is both the sign and the cause of clear thinking.”

~ Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves:
The Zero-Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

“My attitude toward punctuation is that it ought to be as conventional as possible. The game of golf would lose a good deal if croquet mallets and billiard cues were allowed on the putting green. You ought to be able to show that you can do it a good deal better than anyone else with the regular tools before you have a license to bring in your own improvements.”

~ Ernest Hemingway, letter, May 15, 1925

Photo: Eirien, courtesy of Creative Commons.

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