Punctuation..? by User Design

User Design has very kindly sent me a free copy of Punctuation..? to review. (I haven’t had any previous involvement with User Design and I am not receiving any kind of payment for this review.)

Punctuation..? aims to explain the functions and uses of 21 punctuation marks. The intended audience seems to be broad, but the content is focused on the British English use of punctuation.

It is a slim book at 36 pages. It is staple bound (or saddle stitched) with the title of the book on the spine.

Used with permission from User Design.

Image used with permission from User Design.

Printed on good quality paper, it feels nice in the hand. However, I don’t think this can help to justify the £10 price tag.

The illustrations are idiosyncratic but charming. They are the main selling point of this publication. Readers who are easily bored should find the often amusing drawings enough reason to keep reading.

I was very pleased to see en dashes and em dashes touched on as well as hyphens. I was also interested to see guillemets, interpuncts and pilcrows included.

Unfortunately, the book is let down by errors, clunky prose and a lack of clarity. I find some of the explanations to be unhelpful or slightly misleading. This is a shame because Punctuation..? could be an excellent introductory guide after a little polishing.

Image used with permission from User Design.

Image used with permission from User Design.

The book is ideal if you want to spark someone’s interest in punctuation. It would also be ideal for a child who finds the topic of punctuation difficult or intimidating.

For adults, you might enjoy it as a quirky primer. But if you want to know how to use punctuation correctly, I can’t recommend anything more than Trask’s Guide to Punctuation.


6 thoughts on “Punctuation..? by User Design

  1. Hi Hannah! I noticed that you “liked” my blog earlier, so I thought I’d pay yours a visit. Lovely site! Re books, I’m sure you’ve read “Eats, Shoots and Leaves” by Lynne Truss? If not, you should definitely give it a go!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely love your honesty. I follow another blogger who asked the question “Good Review, Bad Review.” Okay, so it wasn’t so much a question as it was a catchy title. However, I digress. In their post they asked if they should be honest and give a bad review or give no review at all. I said it there and I’ll say it here, be honest. There is nothing more compelling for an author than to know where they can improve.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I like to think I am always honest, especially in a professional capacity. Clients have to be able to trust me; I want my readers to trust me. That said, I always try to be nice about it! I know how hard it is let someone pick over something you have worked on. And it’s very rare that something is all bad.

      Liked by 2 people

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