Punctuation Without Tears

‘ … a powerful little book: sure book: sure-footed, simple, feisty, funny, and profoundly helpful … full of sound, practical advice … the sense of fun is infectious … Teenagers facing exams are going to thank anyone who gives it to them. Adults who want to brush up on the difference between a colon and semicolon are going to be equally as grateful … ‘


American and British English
No technical jargon
Clear examples


This book is for:
Writers (fiction and non-fiction)
Schools and colleges
All ages


Punctuate with confidence the easy way! A quick, funny, illustrated guide to all the punctuation you’ll ever need to know. Whether you want to master punctuation for school, university, creative writing, journalism, business or anything else, this zany little book abandons complex rules and offers simple guidance for British and US English.


With illustrations by Delia Johnson.


“I wish every one of my students would read this! Be clear! Be creative! Be consistent!”
Professor Stephen Tucker — Department of Physics, University of Oxford, UK

“This book will set you free. As concise as the rules it espouses, this book will put a smile on your face and a confidence in your fingers to write just the way you have always wanted to. Selwood tells us punctuation is flexible; use it as you do your voice and your words will find their home. A magical manual.”
Tim Gow — Sports News Editor, The Daily Express, UK

“This book will be a wonderful tool for writers from every walk of life in every age group. — It’s a keeper!”
Nettie Verdon — Teacher, Dubai, UAE

“What a wonderful book! A must-read for everyone. The fear is removed and a whole world of wonderful opportunities awaits you as a writer, storyteller, editor, and lover of language!”
Helen Lewis — Director of Literally PR. Co-Founder of The Author School and Hashtag Press, UK

“Essential reading for anyone wanting to impress with their CV”
James Innes — Bestselling careers author, UK and USA

“Dominic Selwood demystifies the — often arcane — rules of modern punctuation. Written in a lively tone, with the focus firmly on the essentials, he’ll have you telling your commas from your semicolons in no time! Highly recommended to anyone seeking to write with accuracy and verve.”
Dr Levi Roach — Lecturer and Award-Winning Author, Department of History, University of Exeter. UK

“Selwood has done the impossible: he has produced a short and funny book on punctuation. Whether you are eight or eighty, you will want this indispensable guide beside you, as a reminder of all those rules you have been told, but have long since forgotten.”
Dr James W P Campbell — Bestselling author and Fellow of Queens’ College University of Cambridge, UK

“Students and teachers dread SPAG (spelling, punctuation and grammar), yet these are essential for clear written communication. This book is not only entertaining in itself, but neatly lays out the standard conventions
which make for good writing, without pedantry.”
The Revd Dr Simon Thorn — Teacher, Winchester College, UK

“This is everything I want from a book about punctuation: it made me laugh and cheer. Our children are being taught the odious SPAG with rigid rules and no creativity. We all should be embracing punctuation with Selwood’s passion.”
Henrietta Mcmicking — Award-Winning BBC Producer, UK

“As a professor for 40 years, most of them at Harvard and now at Oxford, I fancy myself an expert on punctuation. At the same time, I have lived in fear of violating fundamental and inviolable truths, while ruthlessly correcting the punctuation of students and colleagues. What a relief to have read Dominic Selwood’s delightful little book on this subject! The same will be true for every reader of this book. He or she will punctuate better and feel more confident in doing so.”
Professor Robert Eccles — Said Business School, University of Oxford, UK

“A short, pithy, yet comprehensive guide on punctuation. I can see this guide becoming used widely. And deservedly. I would recommend this book to anyone wishing to cut through the complexities and arcane rules of punctuation. Period!”
George Roberts — Teacher, Hoylake, UK

“Of course punctuation matters. It matters to you! Were one to have read, carefully, Dominic Selwood’s excellent book finding so much as one grammatical or punctuation error, the author would gratefully refund your full purchase price and buy his former tutor, me, a beer. So, do read very carefully!”
Rev John Maxwell Kerr — Former Professor, Research Fellow in Physics and Chemistry, and Chaplain, University of Oxford, UK, and College of William and Mary, USA

“As an editor and writer of fiction and nonfiction, I get all worked up over punctuation. Dominic Selwood helped me to see a new way through the rules and assumptions and also how to relax.”
Nancy Bilyeau — Author, Journalist, Editor, USA