Too Long; Didn't Read
When we speak, we make our meaning clear by the expression that we put into our words and sentences. Some sentences we say all in one breath and with not much change in emphasis from one word to the next. We may be pretty sure that such a sentence is short and simple, with all its elements arranged in their natural order. In this respect compare the sentences given below.
Notice that the following sentence is spoken as one word group:
Steam and electricity are making one commercial community of all nations.
A part that is subordinate in idea is subordinate in tone; as,
Steam and electricity, which are the greatest of all discoveries, are making one commercial community of all nations.
In the usual order of the sentence the subject comes first. Sometimes for emphasis a participial phrase or an adverbial clause precedes the subject. Such inversion is always indicated; as,
If the grape crop is large, the price of grapes is low.
Sometimes a word or phrase is thrust into the sentence to give clearness or force; as,
If, on the other hand, the season is poor, the price of grapes is high.
What, then, determines the price of grapes?
We cannot become good speakers until we learn to subordinate in tone those groups of words that are subordinate in idea, and to bring out clearly those groups which, for one reason or another, are emphatic. The same thing is true in music. We cannot become good musicians until we learn phrasing; that is, until we learn to group the notes to form distinct musical ideas. But when we write our thoughts, we cannot indicate the tone in which the words are spoken. We must show in some other way which groups of words belong together, which are important, and which are subordinate in idea. For this purpose punctuation marks have been invented. When we write, we unconsciously speak the thoughts to ourselves; we hear the divisions between the parts of ideas; and, if we understand punctuation, we indicate the divisions.