No, It's Not Arbitrary and Does Make Sense: How to Teach the English Punctuation System
You might also try putting a period at the end of a “thought.” And what about semi-colons and colons? Well…maybe those are for exceptionally long breaths and thoughts? Okay, I guess you can see that these are no official “Strunk and White” rules about usage but rather the kind of myths about standard punctuation that are perpetuated, sometimes by educators, I’m afraid. Add to this the concern that writers, such as novelist and poets, often employ their own creative punctuation: for example, poet e.e. cummings wrote in all lower-case; popular novelist Stephen King, a former English teacher, writes long, run-on sentences to indicate stream-of-consciousness thought. So by the time students come onto a college campus, they’re often under the impression that punctuation doesn’t matter, or is arbitrary, and makes no sense—sometimes all three.
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