Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Punctual Punctuation

The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.
~~Mark Twain


But that was rather difficult to read. The Romans sometimes used a dot between words, which later changed to a space and became standardized with the printing press, as did many other punctuation conventions--more about that later. The Greeks gave us paragraphos, or paragraph breaks--a horizontal line inserted when starting a new line of thought. Of course, there might be three or four pages of text in one paragraph, but what breaks there were certainly did aid in readability.

The period or "full stop" still wasn't used consistently. Medieval scribes often used daggers, flowers, birds, and other ornaments to indicate paragraphs or footnotes. In fact, punctuation was used more for speaking--reading the text out loud--than for reading silently. In other words, where a speaker should pause, the writer inserted some sort of mark. No regard was made to such things as dependent clauses, dialogue, or things of that ilk.

So let's skip ahead to a Venetian printing shop in the late 1400's, and visit Aldus Manutius (1449-1515). What an innovator he was. He was the first to publish classics without annotations or other distractions. Italics typeface is attributable to him. Periods, commas, and some grammar conventions came about because if his scholarly efforts. And yet, the print shop stayed in business for years, so he must have been somewhat profitable while swimming against the tide. His grandson, the younger Aldo, recorded punctuation rules in 1566. Three generations of the Manutius family defined the look and content of books today.

The Next Generation

At the beginning of the 1600s, punctuation was still used more for elocution than to delineate syntax. Not until Ben Jonson's posthumously published work, English Grammar (written in 1617 and published in 1640), was punctuation used syntactically and in a way that made sense. This small book can be somewhat daunting to read, however.

"There resteth one generall Affection of the whole, dispersed thorow every member thereof, as the bloud is thorow the body; and consisteth in the Breathing, when we pronounce any Sentence; For, whereas our breath is by nature so short, that we cannot continue without a stay to speake long together; it was thought necessarie, as well as for the speakers ease, as for the plainer deliverance of the things spoken, to invent this meanes, whereby men pausing a pretty while, the whole speech might never the worse be understood."

That means punctuation makes a sentence more easily comprehended. Makes one appreciate Strunk & White.

Contemporary Punctuation

From Punctuation in English Since 1600, which cites Encylopaedia Britannica:
"It was the lexicographers Henry Watson Fowler and Francis George Fowler in The King's English, published in 1906, who established the current British practice of light punctuation. Punctuation in the United States has followed much the same path as in Britain, but the rules laid down by American authorities have in general been more rigid than the British rules."

Even today, punctuation rules are fluid and each publishing house has its own "style" which may or may not conform with late 20th Century's accepted standards. Most large publishers are using fewer and fewer commas whether a pause is indicated or not. My publisher, however, inserted hundreds of commas in my last book because they adhere to the standard comma rules. They do not, however, adhere to the standardized rules for interrupting dialogue with body motion--there's a house "style" for that. It behooves a writer to read a few books from her targeted publisher to find out how that house punctuates. There are vast differences.

Just for fun, try the Eats, Shoots & Leaves Punctuation game.

Contest!!! For a chance to win Into the Woods by RR Smythe, join the Keely list (announcements and newsletters only). Winner will be drawn from the list of subscribers at 11:59pm June 30.


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Jacquie Rogers
Faery Special Romances (May 2007)
Take a look at the book video
Royalties go to Children's Tumor Foundation,
ending Neurofibromatosis through Research

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Historical Romance Club is celebrating it's 4th Anniversary with a HUGE Contest! With over Forty books generously donated by some of your favorite Romance Authors, we are giving away Four GRAND PRIZES. The Diamond Prize Package; The Ruby Prize Package; The Emerald Prize Package; and The Sapphire Prize Package. Each package contains a mix of both eBooks and Print Books.

Prize List:

The Diamond Prize Package:

Faery Special Romances (print and bath salts) by Jacquie Rogers
The Importance of Almack's (ebook) by Denise Patrick
In the Wind's Eye (ebook) by Charlotte Boyett-Compo
Long Strange Trip (print) by Vicki Gaia
Midnight Magic (print - hardcover) by Shari Anton
Midnight Marriage (ebook) by Jean Fullerton
Secrets in the Annex (ebook) by Ann Cory
Summer Wind (ebook) by Charlotte Boyett-Compo
Tethers (ebook) by Sara Reinke
The Tribute (ebook) by Beth Williamson
Twilight's Kiss (print) by Marly Mathews

The Ruby Prize Package:

The Accidental Countess (ebook) by Melissa Schroeder
A Knight of Passion (ebook) by Ingela F. Hyatt
Allegra's Seduction (ebook) by Monica M. Martin
Always, My Love (ebook) by Phyllis Campbell
An Unexpected Engagement (print) by Sara Reinke
The Cheiftain's Bride (ebook) by Kate Hill
I'll Be Yours (ebook) by Marly Mathews
The Irish Countess (print) by Janet Quinn
The Mad Knight's Bride (print) by Kate Hill
Melting Iron (print) by Ann Cory
Sword of Rhoswen (ebook) by Brenda Williamson

The Emerald Prize Package:

A Dark Guardian (ebook) by Donna Grant
A Knight of Passion (print) by Ingela F. Hyatt
Come The Night (print) by Angelique Armae
Crossing the Line (print) by Catherine Stang
Dance of Desire (print) by Catherine Kean
My Lady's Protector: Knight of Pentacles (ebook) by Monica M. Martin
Prisoners of the Wind (ebook) by Charlotte Boyett-Compo
Twilight's Kiss (ebook) by Marly Mathews
Under a Warlock's Spell (ebook) by Ann Cory
Vows Of Deception (ebook) by Phyllis Campbell
The WyndMaster's Lady (ebook) by Charlotte Boyett-Compo

The Sapphire Prize Package:

Book of Days (ebook) by Sara Reinke
Cradle the Light (ebook) by Vicki Gaia
Cutlasses and Caresses (ebook) by Jean Fullerton
Dead Walkers The Protectorate (ebook) by Angelique Armae
The Earl's Enchantment (ebook) by Sara Freeze
Holding Out For A Hero (ebook) by Phyllis Campbell
In Sunshine or In Shadow (print) by Cynthia Owens
The Kilted Governess (ebook) by Janet Quinn
The Passenger (print) by Joie Lesin
Silk and Magic 2 (print) by M.A. duBarry
WindFall (print) by Charlotte Boyett-Compo

How to Enter:

Simply visit HRC ( http://www.HistoricalRomanceClub.com ) and click on the Contest Logo at the top of the Romance News on the index page. Be sure to read through the Contest Rules before filling out the entry form...And remember, you must be 18 or older to enter. ;)

Contest Closes:
July 31, 2007 at 9:00pm EDT, so hurry and enter today!

And while you're visiting HRC, check out our extensive list of HRC Authors, Reviews, and Interviews.

Ingela F. Hyatt
Editor & Publisher
Historical Romance Club
"Where daring Damsels meet noble Knights between the Covers..."

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

You Could Win a Free Book!

Enter a drawing to win a free copy of Faery Special Romances!

All you have to do is sign up for Keely's yahoo list. Keely is the star of Faery Special Romances, and is constantly reminding me that she starred in the 2006 PEARL Award winner for best short story (No Law Against Love). Actually, I wrote the story, but Keely . . . let's just say she's really wanting to star in a Hollywood blockbuster.

Anyway, the drawing will be held at 11:59pm PDT on June 7, so sign up soon!

Click to join keely

More contests to follow, but you only have to subscribe to Keely's list once. She'll have some Faery Good Advice!



Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Jacquie Rogers
Faery Special Romances (May 2007)
Take a look at the book video
Royalties go to Children's Tumor Foundation,
ending Neurofibromatosis through Research

Monday, June 4, 2007

Washington State NF Families Walk run

I'm not a morning person--quite the opposite, in fact--but my husband and I made it to the 5k Walk Run put on by the Washington State Neurofibromatosis Families. No, we weren't there at 7:30am--didin't actually make it until 8:30, but I'm sure glad we went.

We met several new people, and the enthusiasm in the crowd was downright energizing. I wasn't able to walk this year, but I plan to do so next year!

Special thanks to Andrea and the Hawaiian group. You guys rock! I hope the Faery Good Bath Salts helped with everyone's achy muscles afterward, too.


myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics

Jacquie Rogers
Faery Special Romances (May 2007)
Take a look at the book video
Royalties go to Children's Tumor Foundation,
ending Neurofibromatosis through Research