Word Division, or How to Carve

Word Division, and How to Carve - Terence Kuch (www.terencekuch.net) Meat should be cut at the joint, Plato said, not merely hacked apart any old place. Likewise, words, if they must be divided, should be cut at their own joints. The pieces (before and after line-breaks) should bear as much meaning as possible, as an aid to the reader. In violation of this principle, the Washington Post once divided “homerun” as ho/merun. Exactly what’s wrong here? There is a home plate, and runners run there. … [Read more...]

How to Punctuate Dialog in Fiction

How to Punctuate Dialog in Fiction by Terence Kuch You may also be interested in my recent post Point of View: Elements and Choices, a presentation in PowerPoint with detailed commentary in Word. The easiest way to find this is to Google "Point of View" "Elements and Choices" [do not include the colon] - the post should appear as the #1 hit. Or see www.terencekuch.net, my writer's profile, or go to www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch ===============================  [“…punctuation … [Read more...]

The Comma Serves Three Masters

The comma serves three masters: grammar, rhetoric, and logic. Sometimes [,] these masters may be at odds. (1) Consider this sentence from a short story: “After dinner I carried out the garbage.” Grammar requires a comma after ‘dinner’, and normally the writer should provide one. But consider rhetoric: we may want the comma there, or not, depending on how the writer is shaping the story’s rhythm and narrative voice. The choice is a judgment as to which master must prevail this time. (2) … [Read more...]