Authors & Dialogue – has punctuation fallen out of favour?

2 Dec

Novelist Julie Myerson (amongst others) dispenses with punctuating dialogue in her writing as she feels that in the real world there are ‘no marks separating out what I think and what I say, or what other people do.’

It’s true, in our three-dimensional real lives, we don’t generally visualise quotation marks as we speak!  However, on the flat page, where we are without the cues of sound or vision, well placed accents separating speech from thought can be vital to separate interior from exterior (and, oh yes, to tell us just who is speaking and when!) 

Is it ‘elegant’ or ‘cool’ (oops, those quotation marks again) to dispense with punctuation or are we just disguising the fact that we never quite fell in love with all that bothersome stuff from English 101? 

Taking Myerson’s (and others) views to the next level, and dispensing altogether with punctuation, maybe I should have omitted the quotation marks that credited the author’s quote (above) as being the author’s quote? 

Article about the ‘decline’ of punctuation below.  What are your thoughts?



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