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Punctuation refers to the full stop, dash, semicolon, comma and every other little squiggle and flick that combine to make our sentences readable. Correct use of them is vital in making our writing understood.
Consider the following sentence supposedly said by Jesus Christ to a thief:
“I tell you this day you shall be with me in paradise”
if we put a comma after day, like so:
“I tell you this day, you shall be with me in paradise”
then Jesus is saying that the thief will join him in paradise at some unspecified time in the future. If we move the comma forward two words:
“I tell you, this day you shall be with me in paradise”
now Jesus is saying that the thief will join him on the same day in paradise! This is the perfect example to show how powerful a comma can be. So powerful, and so important, that some religions put the comma after you, others put it after day, according to their interpretation of when the thief will enter Heaven. Entire religious denominations argue about where to place a tiny little comma!
P.S. to read more on this and other fascinating examples of punctuation, read Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss. It’s a light read, entertaining and it will educate you or another considerably.