Does Precise Punctuation Really Matter?


You may have seen this piece some­where before — I don’t know the orig­i­nal sto­ry­teller — but it’s a good reminder to all of us about the impor­tance of (#1) being care­ful with our use of punc­tu­a­tion and (#2) hav­ing our impor­tant writ­ings proof­read by the prover­bial “sec­ond set of eyes” before they are released to the public.


An Eng­lish pro­fes­sor wrote the words “A woman with­out her man is noth­ing” on the chalk­board and then asked his stu­dents to punc­tu­ate it correctly.

All of the males in the class wrote: “A woman, with­out her man, is nothing.”

How­ever, all the females in the class wrote: “A woman: with­out her, man is nothing.”

Punc­tu­a­tion is powerful!!!


Thanks to my friend and col­league, Jay Sport of Jay Sport Man­age­ment Con­sult­ing Inc. (http://​www​.JaySportMC​.com) for pass­ing along this fun illustration.

2 Responses

  1. Ariella Says:

    very good illus­tra­tive sen­tence. It has more polit­i­cal assump­tions at play than “eats shoots and leaves”

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  2. Heidi Mann Says:

    Indeed, Ariella! I’d for­got­ten about that other one! I do like the “fem­i­nist” one! 😉

    Report this com­ment

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