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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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
"One fella dog stop 'm along you," the steward whispered up.
It was some seconds before they realised what had happened to them, but, when they did, they began to shout lustily for the boy to stop. He, however, was too much occupied with the horse to hear them, and we watched them, flying after him, until the distance hid them from view.
At the end of a hundred yards they are naturally breathless, and suddenly stop, and all sit down on the grass and laugh, and your boat drifts out to mid- stream and turns round, before you know what has happened, or can get hold of a scull.
You jump up, and push it off, and you shout to them not to stop.
Bime by, close up, big fella warship stop 'm along Su'u, knock seven balls outa Su'u."
"What name him big fella warship stop 'm along Solomons?" Ishikola demanded.
"What name that fella gun stop 'm along bottom?" Van Horn indignantly demanded.
He couldn't muster courage to come up to the ring, but wandered up and down from the great fives court to the corner of the chapel rails, now trying to make up his mind to throw himself between them, and try to stop them; then thinking of running in and telling his friend Mary, who, he knew, would instantly report to the Doctor.
Now, young Brooke, you're in the sixth, you know, and you ought to stop all fights.
Brooke can't find it in his heart to stop them just yet, so the round goes on, the Slogger waiting for Tom, and reserving all his strength to hit him out should he come in for the wrestling dodge again, for he feels that that must be stopped, or his sponge will soon go up in the air.
Seeing the man gesticulate with imploring mien, and perhaps also recognising the officer who accompanied him, his Highness ordered his carriage to stop.
"He entreats for permission to stop here for minute."