Paul's Grammar Corner
Time to round off the course with a few useful words about punctuation. Here they are: without punctuation you can't make sense of anything. Let's take the following sentence:
I arrived at the party with two strippers, Kyle, and Carson.
I arrived at the party with two strippers, Kyle and Carson.
I arrived at the party with two strippers: Kyle and Carson.
The first sentence suggests that five of us arrive at the party. There's me, two strippers, and the two boys.
The second sentence is a little ambiguous; are the strippers and the two boys the same people?
The third sentence clarifies everything. Yes, the boys are our entertainment for the evening.
If we strip out all the punctuation from the sentence it leaves us clueless as to the writer's intentions:
I arrived at the party with two strippers Kyle and Carson
If a writer is unclear in his punctuation then he leaves it to the reader's skills to try to interpret whatever meaning he originally had in mind. It's not a great way to communicate, and as our future livings rely on making ourselves clearly understood, it's a good idea to try to get to grips with the basics.