I reread I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb recently. HBO made the book into a mini-series. It was okay, but it made me long for the book.
As I was reading, I noticed some well-punctuated sentences. I wish I had marked all the pages with a Post-It note because now I can't find all of them. I have a couple to share with you, though:
"I know you had a bad . . . sometimes some of the guards here can get a little . . . well, he's okay."
Notice, please, the three spaced periods that start and finish the section of the sentence where the speaker kind of trails off but then gets back to the sentence.
Chicago approves, as do I.
"The codeine was either working or it wasn't working––I wasn't sure. I was still sore down there below the belt, but it was like, who gives a shit? Which I guess meant that it was working. . . . "
We need to talk about the em dash in the second sentence. As you can see, no spaces are used before and after, which is correct, according to Chicago. However, some publishing houses have their own style sheet and that might include a space before and after the em dash.
I also want you to take a look at the FOUR, count 'em, FOUR periods at the end of the sentence. The sentence trails off and the speaker doesn't continue with his thought, so it's not three periods. It's four, as in a period and three spaced periods. I learned long ago that it should be four spaced periods, but apparently this publisher prefers no space at the end of the sentence, which makes sense to me.
Chicago agrees with the period and then the three spaced periods, so there we go.
Did we all learn something?
Infinities of love,
|You learn it, Chester.|