Conventions of Print
The term “conventions of print” refers to the understanding that when the English language is written down, it is transcribed in a standard, uniform manner so that words and ideas communicated through writing are consistently and easily understood by all readers.
Conventions of print include the following:
- Directionality: English is written and read from left to right and from top to bottom.
- Punctuation communicates meaning and expression to readers.
- Space: Writers use space to separate ideas, indicate when readers should pause for thought, and to separate words so that they are easily read.
- Case: Letters come in two forms, uppercase and lower case. Case can provide additional meaning to readers about the beginning of new ideas and indicates to the reader whether a noun is describing a specific person, place, or thing.
- Grammar: Written language subscribes to the rules affecting the form words can take including verb tense, plurals, possessives, and modifiers like adverbs and adjectives.
- Usage: Writers understand how incomplete sentences, run-on sentences, and improper use of pronouns can impede effective communication of ideas.
- Spelling: Words are spelled according to convention so that they are easily read by others to facilitate effective communication.