Business Writing Essentials


We use punctuation to interrupt the reader so we can explain or emphasize something.

Tiny Interruption: To include an expression that helps explain something, surround it with the comma. This creates a polite interruption:

There are, no doubt, good reasons for the change in policy.

Dana, their manager, sent the report back.

Medium Interruption: To use an expression to add a detail but avoid giving it too much emphasis, surround it with parentheses. This creates an "Oh, by the way" interruption:

We were told by their chief knowledge officer (CKO) that we have until the end of the week (April 17) to approve their report.

Big Fat Honkin' Interruption: To use an expression that will strongly emphasize a point, surround it with the m-dash. That's a special dash, as wide as capital M. This creates a "Yoh! Pay attention!" interruption:

We should prepare—before publishing the report—for strong reactions from readers.

Lesson: Interrupt
Module: Punctuation
Course: Business Writing Essentials