We all have strange relationships with punctuation — do you overuse exclamation marks? Do you avoid semicolons like the plague? What type of punctuation could you never live without? Tell us all about your punctuation quirks!
I am semi-colon happy; I admit it, freely. I used to be comma happy but I learned my lesson. After constantly getting papers back in college and grant applications and reports back from my boss, my comma using days fell by the wayside.
Thankfully, I’ve had many good editors of my work. Two come to mind instantly and deserve my thanks today.
The first, a college professor, my freshman English class. I was lucky enough to not have to take the traditional English Comp class because I’d done that in high school. Instead, I was invited to be part of a six-credit class that met every day; and every week we completed one speech and one essay. The professor loved the way I spoke so I got an “A” on each speech. My writing skill on the other hand, she was not so impress by; so there was always a “C” at the top of each assignment when it was returned. I ended up with an overall grade of “B” for the course but what I learned was invaluable.
My second extraordinary editor is my friend Jennifer. We worked together for roughly seven years. The best thing about her style was that she explained why she was recommending the changes noted in red pen. Instead of rewriting something in her own style, she was able to give me feedback that enhanced mine. I believe I am a better writer as a result of her editorial guidance.
Jennifer and Dr. Stagg, thank you for making me a better writer!