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Breaking Bad Punctuation

September 18, 2014

by: Chelsea Zimmerman

When it comes down to it, there is no such thing as the perfect writer. Just like Walter White in Breaking Bad, our journey from perfection or fulfillment (at least in terms of writing) will never end; as writers, we also get to experience perpetual growth (with less meth and fewer cartels involved). Punctuation is one area in which all writers can improve. Reviewing a few rules about commonly made mistakes will provide you with some shortcuts on your own journey as a writer.

Using commas

When combining two complete sentences with conjunctions, remember to put a comma before the conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so).

Example:

  • Skylar was afraid of the man Walter had become, so she sent their children to live with their aunt and uncle.

Also, remember to separate items in a list with commas.

Example:

  • Walter White, Jesse Pinkman, and Skylar White are a few of the main characters of Breaking Bad.

Using apostrophes

You may accidentally misuse apostrophes when indicating ownership.

Examples:

  • Saul Goodman was the criminal’s lawyer. (There is only one criminal)
  • Saul Goodman was the criminals’ lawyer. (There are multiple criminals)

Using ellipses

When placing a direct quote from a source into your paper, be sure not to omit a portion of the quote without your reader being aware of the omission. This is where using an ellipsis comes into play.

Example:

Original Quote: “You clearly don’t know who you’re talking to, so let me clue you in. I am not in danger, Skylar. I am the danger.” -Walter White, Breaking Bad

  • When Skylar confronts her husband about the potential danger she perceives he is in, Walter takes the opportunity to clarify his position to his wife, saying: “You clearly don’t know who you’re talking to…I am not in danger, Skylar. I am the danger.” (Quoted with correct use of ellipsis)

Images from scriptmag.com and imgur.com

I hope you enjoyed this Breaking Bad expose of correcting punctuation. Stay tuned for “Game of Groans: How to Overcome Writer’s Block.” 

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