Punctuation  

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This page Punctuation is part of the linguistics series. Illustration: a close-up of a mouth in the film The Big Swallow (1901)
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This page Punctuation is part of the linguistics series.
Illustration: a close-up of a mouth in the film The Big Swallow (1901)

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Punctuation is everything in written language other than the actual letters or numbers, including punctuation marks (listed at right), inter-word spaces and indentation.

Punctuation marks are symbols that correspond to neither phonemes (sounds) of a language nor to lexemes (words and phrases), but which serve to indicate the structure and organization of writing, as well as intonation and pauses to be observed when reading it aloud. See orthography.

In English, punctuation is vital to disambiguate the meaning of sentences. For example, "woman, without her man, is nothing," and "woman: without her, man is nothing," have greatly different meanings, as do "eats shoots and leaves" and "eats, shoots and leaves."

The rules of punctuation vary with language, location, register and time, and are constantly evolving. Certain aspects of punctuation are stylistic and are thus the author's (or editor's) choice. Tachygraphic language forms, such as those used in online chat and text messages, may have wildly different rules.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Punctuation" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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