Any symbol other than letters in a written language is called ‘Punctuation'. Punctuation is one of the most important elements of writing as it helps the reader to avoid confusion or misunderstand the meaning of sentences.
Symbols like periods, commas, spaces and capital letters help the reader to clearly understand what the writer has intended.
In the early days of writing, no punctuation rules or punctuation marks were used, so it was very hard for the reader to quickly understand the meaning and intention of the written sentences. Up until the 18th century, punctuation was used as an aid to reading aloud, later it was developed as an important tool for ensuring that written sentences make sense to the reader, making the reading action effective while understating the exact intention of the text’s composer.
Here is a small example that demonstrates how vital punctuation is when we want to express different meanings to the same sentence.
“I won the lottery.” – When this sentence ends with a period, it is nothing but a basic statement or a fact, however, what if we change the period to an exclamation mark and say: “I won the lottery!”, in this case the sentence reflects more than just accomplishing something - it reflects pride.
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Punctuation and other terms related to the English language.