Punctuation

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PUNCTUATION, construction. The act or method of placing points (q.v.) in a written or printed instrument.
     2. By the word point is here understood all the points in grammar, as the comma, the semicolon, the colon, and the like.
     3. All such instruments are to be construed without any regard to the punctuation; and in a case of doubt, they ought to be construed in such a manner that they may have some effect, rather than in one in which they would be nugatory. Vide Toull. liv. 3, t. 2, c. 5, n. 430; 4 T. R. 65; Barringt. on the Stat. 394, n. Vide article Points.

References in classic literature ?
"Now throw open the gates," commanded the Scarecrow, "and we will make a dash to liberty or to death."
"All right!" answered the Saw-Horse, gruffly, and dashed away so suddenly that Tip had to gasp for breath and hold firmly to the post he had driven into the creature's neck.
Among the fallen rocks the breakers spouted and bellowed; loud reverberations, heavy sprays flying and falling, succeeded one another from second to second; and I saw myself, if I ventured nearer, dashed to death upon the rough shore or spending my strength in vain to scale the beetling crags.
To and fro, up and down, north, south, east, and west, the HISPANIOLA sailed by swoops and dashes, and at each repetition ended as she had begun, with idly flapping canvas.
THE cruiser Vanator careened through the tempest That she had not been dashed to the ground, or twisted by the force of the elements into tangled wreckage, was due entirely to the caprice of Nature.
"This way," cried the boy, and, without waiting to know that I had heard him, he dashed off at breakneck speed, further into the bowels of the temple.
They could feel that she would be dashed to pieces--that the shock would be fearful.
This cruelty was so affected, so purposely made up, so completely a product of the brain, of books, that I could not even keep it up a minute--first I dashed away to avoid seeing her, and then in shame and despair rushed after Liza.
And obeying his own order, he dashed the helm down before the helmsman could handle the spokes.
At one place, they were obliged to slide their horses down the face of a rock, in which attempt some of the poor animals lost their footing, rolled to the bottom, and came near being dashed to pieces.
It was difficult at first to find the way, the darkness was so great; but to their relief when Adam whistled shrilly, the carriage and horses, which had been waiting in the angle of the avenue, dashed up.
From every side wild hogs dashed into the open space--a score of them.