This document provides a system of punctuation that is based on the syntax of English sentences. It accords with the practice of leading publishers, and it conforms to the recommendations of such publications as The New York Public Library Writer’s Guide to Style and Usage. Skillful writers often punctuate in ways that violate this system of punctuation, but they have earned the right to do so: they know what they are doing and why. If you master the system presented in this document, you will not make errors of punctuation that teachers and editors will want to correct. You will also have the ability to justify your occasional departures from the rules: you will understand why your usage is preferable in the circumstances.
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