Good morning! I’m in one of my preachy moods. So here I go — one of the most unprofessional things to do is cry at the work-place. The other day I saw a lady sobbing at her desk. The reason was that the boss had reprimanded her. No matter how unreasonable the senior may have been, you cannot whimper in a professional environment and that’s it.
Tears may scare people initially, but after a while they only make you a laughing stock among colleagues.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, because it really troubles me to see people making a complete fool of themselves. It’s perfectly all right to cry, but save your tears for those to whom they would matter.
Ok, enough of bhashanbaji. What do we do today? How about punctuations? I must admit punctuations have been my bête noire but so what? Let’s tackle them together.
But before that, let’s see how punctuation marks can change the meaning of a sentence.
Example 1. Woman, without her man, is nothing.
Woman: without her, man is nothing.
See how the meaning has changed with punctuation marks, though the words and the sequence they have been placed in remain the same.
Today, let’s start with the most commonly used punctuation mark — ‘comma’.
I’ll try and keep it simple; follow these rules for using a comma:
• Put a comma to separate things in a series. Example — They bought vegetables, fruits, some grocery and a few plants.
• Put a comma after introductory words in a sentence. Example — however, clearly, henceforth. However, it was necessary to leave on time.
• Put a comma before and after a quotation in a sentence. Example — He said, “What I need is some time,”…
• Put a comma when you are addressing somebody. Example — Rohit, give me your pen.
• Put a comma to separate the day or the month from the year. Example — June 3, 2009.
• Put a comma after greetings, especially in a letter. Example — Dear Rahul, or yours sincerely,
• Put a comma after ‘yes’ or ‘no’ at the beginning of a sentence. Example — Yes, I will go.
• Use a comma to separate two adjectives when the word ‘and’ can be inserted between them. Example — She is an intelligent, hard-working girl.
• Put a comma before and after the expressions that can be omitted. Example — We have been warning you, again and again, about this.
• Put a comma after an introductory phrase. Example — History repeats itself, she was certain of that now.
• Put a comma to separate two sentences if it helps avoid confusion. Example — I decided to take my poodle with me, and he decided to take his bull-dog.
• If the subject does not appear in front of the second verb, do not use a comma. Example — She insisted that help was not needed but then agreed.
• Put a comma to separate a statement from a question. Example — You are coming along, aren’t you?
• Put a comma to separate contrasting parts of a sentence. Example — You will not do this, I will.
• Put a comma to separate two strong clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction — and, or, but, for, nor. You can omit the comma if the clauses are both short. Example — We have almost completed our work, but they are still working on theirs.
Let’s make do with these rules for now.