Book dedication

Discussion in 'English Only' started by samiuelson, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. samiuelson New Member

    polish
    I'd like to dedicate the book to Mark. Which punctuation should I use:
    A.
    I dedicate the book to all curious souls, most of all to you, Mark.
    B.
    I dedicate the book to all curious souls, most of all to you Mark.
    C.
    I dedicate the book to all curious souls, most of all to you - Mark.

    Anything else?
     
  2. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Senior Member

    Cumbria, UK
    British English
    Welcome to the forum.

    (C) clearly places the emphasis on Mark, which is what you want. As written, this is the best sentence of the three in my opinion, but personally I don't really like using an em-dash like this (and it must be an em-dash, not a hyphen). See what other people say about it.
    You can use a colon in place of the em-dash (but I don't like that either, sorry).

    (B) is poor in my opinion as Mark is the most important word in the sentence, but here he gets lost.

    (A) with the two commas makes it a little unclear at first reading how "most of all to you" fits into the sentence. It can easily be read as a parenthetical phrase, till the reader goes back and realises that "I dedicate this book to all curious souls Mark" does not make sense. I like the comma before Mark, but feel you need either to remove or soften the first comma. There is an obvious way of doing this, using "and":
    I dedicate the book to all curious souls, and most of all to you, Mark.​
    I have left the first comma in place, but it could be omitted.
     
  3. dojibear

    dojibear Senior Member

    Fresno CA
    English - Northeast US
    The first comma looks wrong to me. Clearly the sentence is repeating (but omitting) "I dedicate the book". A comma doesn't do that.

    If I wanted to use those exact words in that exact order, I would use something other than the first comma. The second one is okay:

    D) I dedicate the book to all curious souls -- most of all to you, Mark.
    E) I dedicate the book to all curious souls: most of all to you, Mark.
    F) I dedicate the book to all curious souls...most of all to you, Mark.

    I think you want to emphasize "to you, Mark". Otherwise you could replace "most of all to you" with "especially":

    G) I dedicate the book to all curious souls, especially Mark.

    Personally, I like (F) the best. My reason? This sentence is perfect in spoken English. It is only awkward in written English (a slightly different language). The "..." is often used to show a pause in spoken English, without invoking any "grammar rules" of written English.
     
  4. samiuelson New Member

    polish
    Thank you @Uncle Jack and @dojibear I like the idea of adding kind of a break in the middle with "and" or "..."
     

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