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[puhngk-choo-ey-shuh n] /ˌpʌŋk tʃuˈeɪ ʃən/

the practice or system of using certain conventional marks or characters in writing or printing in order to separate elements and make the meaning clear, as in ending a sentence or separating clauses.
the act of .
punctuation marks.
the use of symbols not belonging to the alphabet of a writing system to indicate aspects of the intonation and meaning not otherwise conveyed in the written language
the symbols used for this purpose
the act or an instance of punctuating

1530s, “pointing of the psalms,” from Medieval Latin punctuationem (nominative punctuatio) “a marking with points,” noun of action from past participle stem of punctuare “to mark with points or dots,” from Latin punctus “a prick” (see point (n.)). Meaning “system of inserting pauses in written matter” is recorded from 1660s.

[P]unctuation is cold notation; it is not frustrated speech; it is typographic code. [Robert Bringhurst, “The Elements of Typographic Style,” 2004]


Read Also:

  • Punctuator

    [puhngk-choo-eyt] /ˈpʌŋk tʃuˌeɪt/ verb (used with object), punctuated, punctuating. 1. to mark or divide (something written) with marks in order to make the meaning clear. 2. to interrupt at intervals: Cheers punctuated the mayor’s speech. 3. to give emphasis or force to; emphasize; underline. verb (used without object), punctuated, punctuating. 4. to insert or use […]

  • Punctulate

    [puhngk-choo-leyt, -lit] /ˈpʌŋk tʃʊˌleɪt, -lɪt/ adjective 1. studded with minute points or dots.

  • Punctum cecum

    punctum cecum punctum ce·cum (sē’kəm) n. See blind spot.

  • Punctum

    punctum punc·tum (pŭngk’təm) n. pl. punc·ta (-tə)

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