Punctuation and Quotation Marks – Are they necessary?!

As previously discussed in our reading vlog, context is very important. It gives us the idea of how things are meant to be interpreted.

Context = setting | บริบท | ข้อความแวดล้อมที่ช่วยในการเข้าใจความหมาย

The same goes for punctuation and quotation marks. One slight comma misplacement can totally change the meaning of a sentence or phrase.

Punctuation

A comma is used to separate parts of a sentence. It provides breaks for your readers to take a short pause and process what they’re reading.

The sentence, Let’s eat grandma, could mean that you would like people to join you and cannibalize your grandmother. ต้องการกินคุณยาย

But if you say: Let’s eat, grandma! It means you’re inviting your grandmother to join you for lunch or dinner.

What about this sentence? I love cooking my family and my cats. This will get you in trouble because people will think you’re a psychopath like Hannibal Lecter.ปรุงอาหารครอบครัวของฉัน

To be safe, use a comma after the word cooking. I love cooking, my family, and my cats. It means you love your hobby (which is cooking), your family and your cats.

Now that sounds like a sane person.

Quotation

Quotation marks are used to tell the exact words a person said or stated.

Example: Groucho Marx said, “Quote me as saying I was misquoted.”

Don’t use quotation marks to give words emphasis. It will make your sentence sound suspicious or unreal. พิรุธ

For instance, you got sick and sent your boss a message via company messenger (Line, FB messenger).

Hi boss, I can’t make it to the office today because I have some “allergy”.

Your boss is from the US, do you think adding a quotation mark to the word allergy will make it more convincing? He/She might think you’re just making things up and ask for a medical certificate as a supporting document.

What about this? You’re a school administrator and would like to give assurance to the parents that their kids are in good hands.

Dear parents, your kids are safe in our school premises and I assure you that they’re learning with a “certified” “teacher”.

That doesn’t sound right. Parents might question the teacher’s credibility or doubt if they’re capable of educating someone.

Don’t change the meaning of words with wrong punctuation placements and unnecessary quotation marks. It’s better to emphasize by using appropriate words in a given context.

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