When people speak face to face, they use several non verbal cues to convey meanings ( e.g. grimaces, frowning, smiling,..etc ). These facial expressions and other body language signals are very important elements in any communicative situation. Imagine talking to someone face to face without him/her giving you any visual cues, it would make you feel very uncomfortable . This was in fact an activity we did in my first Master classes. The professor asked us to talk to the person next to us for 2 minutes and whoever is playing the role of the listener should not nod or act out any facial expression. I could feel the communication was flawed from the first 30 seconds, only then I really realized how important these cues are to the normal proceeding of day-to day conversations and communications.
The same thing applies to written language. If we don't use punctuation, it would be extremely hard to understand what is being communicated in a text. Sometimes not being able to use punctuation correctly results in a totally different meaning which could amount to a total misunderstanding. I have several examples that prove the importance of punctuation . I want you to share them with your students and why not devote a whole activity to work on them . Enjoy
If you know of other examples, share them with us below.
1- Look how changing the placements of punctuation can change the whole meaning
3- His wife's life depend upon that comma