Monday, August 25, 2008

Pointing the Way

A wonderful article by Roy Peter Clark that illustrates how to read with sensitivity and an eye towards rhetorical analysis.

And ... there's a great bit on the role of punctuation. Clark says -
When I took a close look at the punctuation, I marveled at its unobtrusive richness and variety. Without calling attention to itself, the punctuation helped organize and drive the meaning of the text. When you admire a cathedral, it's easy enough to see the rose windows, soaring steeples and flying buttresses. But it is often the little things -- a carving near a choir seat -- that reveal the true genius and attention to detail.
In my days as a literary scholar, I too marveled at the power of punctuation to influence the evolution of meaning in texts. Punctuation, done right, can have an awesome "ripple effect" in how meaning emerges.

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