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WIT! INSTRUCTIONS FOR
NEW YORK ::: CINCINNATI ::: CHICAGO
VROM THE PRESS OF
A. S. BARNES & CO.
As the pronunciation of words is determined by the usage of the best speakers, so, in a great measure, the punctuation of sentences is based on the usage of the best writers. Recognizing this fact, the author has aimed,–
1. To state such general rules as are recognized by most writers of good English.
2. To illustrate these rules by examples taken from many of our best English classics.
3. To give some of the differences in usage that exist even among the best of writers.
It is frequently asserted that even good writers differ so much in their use of punctuation marks that it is impossible to lay down any general rules, and that it is better for each one to consult his own taste and judgment. With equal reason it might be said that inasmuch as good speakers, and even lexicographers, differ in the pronunciation of words, therefore each speaker should make his own taste and judgment the standard for correct pronunciation. A writer's mode of expressing his thoughts will determine the character and number of the punctuation marks that he uses, and it is chiefly owing to this that even good writers differ somewhat in punctuating what they have written. There are some rules that are invariable under all circumstances; the use of others depends on the mental characteristics of the writer; and there are still other rules, the application of which is determined by the writer's taste alone.
By gestures, tones of voice, oratorical pauses, emphasis, and in various ways, a speaker can make his meaning clear