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.
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.
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.