Advertising And Punctuation
( Originally Published 1902 )
Punctuation that will help advertising in being clear, crisp, concise and convincing is the punctuation most used by the good advertising writer.
Periods are used with great liberality. For short sentences are best.
Commas are also much in demand, as they indicate the conclusion of a thought but not of a sentence.
Commas are used thus:—Style, quality and value are here. Reliable, handsome, but low priced. Before a quotation of one sentence, run in in a paragraph, use a comma, thus: They all cry, "time and tide wait for no man." In sentences containing two clauses, connected by a conjunction, the clauses should be separated by at least a comma. If the clauses are unusually lengthy or not connected with a conjunction, use a semi-color, or prefer-ably a dash. Better still make two short or medium sentences out of the rather lengthy sentence.
Colon and dash comes in at the end of such paragraphs as:—Read carefully every line of the following: —
Dashes are preferable to colons and semi-colons in writing advertising, as they make ideas not terminated by periods, stand out in bolder relief. To illustrate this, here are two forms of punctuation for comparison-on the same subject: —
Quotation marks are used to show that the writer is not the author of that particular word, phrase,. sentence or excerpt quoted. If a mark of exclamation or interrogation is used at the conclusion of the quotation that is not part of the quotation, then this mark should be outside the quotation marks. For instance:—They call them " values"!
Exclamations are preferable to periods at the conclusion of sensational sentences like:—This will be the Sale of the Season!
The advertising writer is not long in harness before he finds out that his great task is to say something, which when said, almost any printer will properly punctuate.