Codes & Symbols of Language, by Rebecca Mate

November 10, 2008 – Hollywood: Isn’t it interesting that an editor can take a look at a manuscript and determine whether a writer is an amateur or not?

Our written language has developed code or symbols to reflect the spoken word. For example, an em dash can show interruption. And ellipsis can mean speech is trailing off:

“Thank you all for c– ”
“–Howdy, Uncle Ray!”
“What are you doing here? Is that a gun? Why are you…?

There are reference books describing the code and standards used in professional writing. Let me know which references you use, or ask me if you’d like to learn of some.

Rebecca L. Mate
Award-winning short story Writer