Notes on Punctuation

“Notes on Punctuation” by Lewis Thomas

Read the article above.  Answer the following questions after you’ve read it.

  1. Does Lewis Thomas seem to be having fun while he’s writing?
  2. Is this the first time you’ve seen someone having fun with punctuation?
  3. Why do you think that is?
  4. What can a poem like Matthew Olzmann’s and an article like Lewis Thomas’s tell us about writing?



18 thoughts on “Notes on Punctuation

  1. I absolutely love this. Is it because I love English and all the steps that go into it? Yes, maybe. It’s fun. It’s not the first time that I have seen someone have fun with writing. If it’s someone’s first time seeing this, that person must not know any writers. This poem makes it clear that punctuation really is tone. How something is written determines how something is read.

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  2. I think yes Lewis does have fun , no I have some friends that love punctuations cause they love to write story’s. well I guess it helps you space your wording and makes it more fun the story. there all about almost the same thing but also different cause they all have a different meaing.


  3. Yes, Lewis Thomas seems to be having fun writing about punctuation by the following reference “I have grown fond of semicolons in recent years.” This is the first time I have seen someone have extreme fun writing about punctuation marks. I think this is occurring because personally in my opinion, I think he has been obsessed with grammaticism for years and now he finally decides to let readers know about his passion and advises them about how to improve their writing skills. The poem and article that I have just read tells me that there is no limitation in writing.


  4. Yes I do think that Lewis is having fun with punctuation, and yes this is the first time that I have seen someone have fun with punctuation. I think the reason for that is because most of how we communicate is through structure and that is what punctuation is its structure to language. I think that the poem by Matthew and the article by Lewis can tell us that writing can be different in many ways but both are similar. They can be about reality or the can be about fiction and regardless whether they seem to be fun or serious they are both because writing is fun cause we take the time to think and express our selves and we enjoy.


  5. Lewis Thomas dose seem to have a lot of fun while he writing I’ve seen people have fun with punctuation when i was taking English last fall with Mr. Sanchez. poems like Matthew can show you how punctuation is being used and how people read it when you using punctuation.


  6. I believe the author is having fun with his writing. While he explains what the punctuation marks do he uses examples in his own writing how to use them, or what sentence would be like without them. Honestly this is the first time I have seen anyone having fun with punctuation, I didn’t even know it was possible, until now. I suppose I’m only realizing this now is because no one has ever showed me how to have fun with it before. I mean sure everyone has seen the boring and bland way of using punctuation before, but not many people use punctuation like this author. What I got from these to readings is that writing doesn’t have to be boring. There are always ways to spice up your writing and punctuation.


  7. Lewis Thomas seems like he is having fun while he is writing because he wrote an article that he seems to have been really interested in punctuations. I have never seen someone have so fun in writing about punctuations because punctuations is boring itself and not even interesting. Thomas and Olzmann both seem to tell us about writing is that every body has their own unique way of writing and have their own interest in certain things.


  8. Lewis really does seem to have fun while hes writing. He explains punctuation in a way that I’ve never heard anyone do so. I feel like most people wouldn’t do this because they’re afraid to look stupid. The two writings that we’ve read really tell us that writing doesn’t always have to be some kind of twelve page essay about world politics. But, it can be something different, inspiring, and fun. Despite my initial reaction, I actually came to enjoy Lewis Thomas’ writing.


  9. 1)Lewis, does seem to be having fun, he wrote an article about the anatomy of punctuation and where each symbol stands in a sentence.
    2) Believe it or not this is the first time that I have in fact read an article in which the author writes about punctuation so animatedly.
    3) I believe that he seems excited to write about punctuation, and is very animated about this subject, due to the fact that punctuation does not get much attention in the press.
    4)An article such as Lewis’s or Olzmann’s can give the vague impression that writing can still be fun but have meaning to deliver the message to the audience, even (as the poems we had written earlier) if the content is a bit difficult to understand.


  10. Yes, he seems to be having quite some fun with punctuation placement.

    This is my first time seeing someone have a lot of fun with punctuation, I might have seen a few other people that do but I cannot remember whom or where. I guess he is trying to show when to properly use punctuation at the right moments..

    These two articles can tell us about writing is that we can all write; because it is all by flowing, whether it being weird or very fluid with the theme of the story. Writing can be fun too with all the imaginative thinking put into any paper or assessment….


  11. He seems to be enjoying writing about the punctuations. For each different punctuation he uses it in his sentences about that specific one which was cool. This is one of the few times I’ve seen someone have fun with punctuation and made it enjoyable.


  12. Yes, he seems to be having fun while writing this poem he wrote about. No, its not the first time seeing someone writing a poem and having fun at the same time. Because he writing about what kinds of commas, question marks, etc. to use in a sentence instead of using commas all the time. It tells us how writers write differently than anyone and how people suppose to write on a type paper


  13. 1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. He knows Punctuation inside out and he is trying to write the function of each punctuation in a fun way.
    4. The writer/author can express their thoughts and feelings in their own way. One writes in an almost fictional way and the other one writes in a standard and yet simple way and make us the readers easier to understand.


  14. 1. You can hear him smirking throughout this passage. Nobody in their right mind would make such hilarious comments on punctuation marks. These informal instructions have more truth and value than any class I’ve ever taken involving punctuation.

    2. Probably. The people I interact with only write fictional conversational pieces and do not care for any other thing. For them, they would write a nice long passage on something about the sea and then have their characters do all the talking as opposed to the description. Which isn’t bad but it’s so common. There’s art in properly writing a description of a place because it has you feel something as opposed to hearing how the characters feel. Punctuation makes it all the better.

    3. It’s kind of hard to see people mess around with punctuation when people are so used to using commas. People limit themselves to comma-ing around in hopes that it’s enough pauses for a passage or write long unimportant descriptions of things that leave the person to highlight where they left off since they get trapped in the words. Thankfully I don’t do that.

    4. Matthew’s poem tells us how to write a story, Lewis’ piece on punctuation is how to write without drowning yourself in a sea of commas or a sea of words. Matthew seems to follow Lewis’ rules of poetry by not using a exclamation point in there. But like in most poetry, it relies more so on breaks in the lines than the markings inside of the writing.


  15. I think that punctuation can will be fun for some people, but you need to put attention in what are you doing , the punctuation have some rules to follow and understand what is important for punctuation, and you need to put all the punctuation and be clear.


  16. I think Lewis Thomas had fun while he writing this article because he knew that in the first paragraph he was not making sense at all because of all the punctuation he was using was all placed incorrect. This is actually the first time I’ve see someone have fun while writing an article about punctuation. I personally think he had fun because he is telling the steps on how to use every sort of punctuation. This article and the poem by Matthew Olzmann’s is telling us how people read in different ways when they use punctuation, the poem was quite confusing because it had so many punctuation and also using punctuation can lead you to think differently.


  17. 1. Lewis seems to be having fun while he’s writing because is writing is comical, educational, and true at the same time,
    2. Yes, it is the first time I have read some one speak so fondly on punctuation and make reading this fun and have a little laugh.
    3. While he’s writing this notes he’s using what he talking about and talks about things that I have known with its funny when he explained it.
    4. That it doesn’t have to be so boring and love and to the point, it can also be something that can be playful yet informational.


  18. “Notes on Punctuation” by Lewis Thomas

    Read the article above. Answer the following questions after you’ve read it.
    Does Lewis Thomas seem to be having fun while he’s writing?

    I have grown fond of semicolons in recent years. The semicolon tells you that there is still some question about the preceding full sentence; something needs to be added; it reminds you sometimes of the Greek usage. It is almost always a greater pleasure to come across a semicolon than a period. The period tells you that that is that; if you didn’t get all the meaning you wanted or expected, anyway you got all the writer intended to parcel out and now you have to move along. But with a semicolon there you get a pleasant little feeling of expectancy; there is more to come; to read on; it will get clearer.

    Is this the first time you’ve seen someone having fun with punctuation?

    There are no precise rules about punctuation, the greatest danger in punctuation is for poetry. Here it is necessary to be as economical and parsimonious with commas and periods as with the words themselves, and any marks that seem to carry their own subtle meanings, like dashes and little rows of periods, even semicolons and question marks, should be left out altogether rather than inserted to clog up the thing with ambiguity. A single exclamation point in a poem, no matter what else the poem has to say, is enough to destroy the whole work.

    Why do you think that is?

    The things I like best in T.S. Eliot’s poetry, especially in the Four Quartets, are the semicolons. You cannot hear them, but they are there, laying out the connections between the images and the ideas. Sometimes you get a glimpse of a semicolon coming, a few lines farther on, and it is like climbing a steep path through woods and seeing a wooden bench just at a bend in the road ahead, a place where you can expect to sit for a moment, catching your breath.

    What can a poem like Matthew Olzmann’s and an article like Lewis Thomas’s tell us about writing?

    Poem like Matthew Olzmann’s and Lewis Thomas’s tells me that writing can be an outside of the line concept as long you stay in the writing rules you are ok. And stay focused


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