It’s typical of writers and editors to obsess over punctuation, grammar and meaning of words. In fact, I liked using my AP style book as a reporter, my thesaurus or Chicago manual for citations in graduate school. Little things like style, grammar and punctuation add up and they matter. They can be powerful.
I couldn’t help but smile this morning when Flo, my dear college friend who was visiting this week from France, wrote a sentence that she uses to teach her middle school students that punctuation matters in a foreign language like English.
A woman without her man is nothing.
A woman, without her man, is nothing.
A woman: without her, man is nothing.