Book Review: Punctuation..? by User Design

If you are looking for a compact reference book on punctuation, this is it.

The book is 34 pages long and covers 21 different punctuation marks. It’s even compact enough to punch a few holes in and insert into a folder for easy reference.

With a book like this available, there is really no reason why children should leave school without understanding the difference between a possessive and a plural apostrophe, or spend their time at university with the same dilemma.

For those of us who aren’t in school, or who have our commas, colons and semis sorted, it is still a handy reference book to check on the purpose of a comma or a colon. There are always some sentences that test your understanding of a punctuation rule, and for which this book would indeed be handy. It is also a good book to keep in mind for clients who need assistance with punctuation and would like to do some work themselves.

Punctuation clip

The book also explains several uncommon punctuation marks: the pilcrow (a word that Microsoft Word doesn’t recognise yet the mark itself is found in Word’s main toolbar); guillemets, what they are and what they are used for; and the interpunct.

The language is straightforward, simple and very easy to read. Make sure you take a moment to look carefully at the images. The messages were not always immediately obvious, but after a second or two I was chuckling that I’d missed the intended meaning.

I recommend this book for anyone wanting a simple reference guide for the rules of punctuation.

Louise Zedda-Sampson

Punctuation..? User Design, 2nd edition, 2012.

Louise Zedda-Sampson is a freelance writer, editor and researcher. What she lacks in editing experience, she makes up for with enthusiasm. She finds that being an editor is a journey of discovery – and that you can never have too many resources because there’s always something you don’t know.

Her website is