Who Put The Periods In The Dr Seuss Books

Summary: Have you ever wondered who put the periods in the Dr. Seuss books? Despite the whimsical and playful tone of his stories, they still follow proper grammar rules. So, who was the person responsible for adding these punctuation marks to the beloved children’s tales we know and love today?

1. The Role of William Spaulding

William Spaulding was a textbook editor who had worked for Houghton Mifflin for many years before he joined the publishing house of Random House in 1948. In fact, it was Spaulding himself who took notice of Dr. Seuss’s potential as a children’s book author and brought him onboard at Random House. When Seuss submitted his first book proposal to the publishing house, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” it contained no periods.

Spaulding recognized the potential success of the book, but he also realized that it would need some editing if it were to be a success. He suggested that Seuss add the missing punctuation, as per the common norms of the English language. Dr. Seuss was initially resistant to the idea but eventually relented. From then on, William Spaulding played an instrumental role in ensuring that all of Dr. Seuss’s books met a high standard of proper grammar.

Revered as one of the key people behind the iconic Dr. Seuss brand, Spaulding’s contributions have undoubtedly helped shape the lasting impact these books have had on generations of children worldwide.

2. Maintaining Consistency

Another reason why there are periods in Dr. Seuss books is that it helps maintain consistency throughout the stories. Anyone who has read a Dr. Seuss book knows that they are filled with made-up words and nonsensical rhymes.

However, with the introduction of punctuation marks like periods, his publishers helped to make sure that even the most surreal aspect of Dr. Seuss’s creations was still legible. By following standard grammar rules, Dr. Seuss could easily differentiate between his made-up words and real ones, giving his stories an added level of coherence and clarity.

In addition, this attention to detail in editing and publishing meant that the book’s overall aesthetic was one of precision. When breaking from the standard conventions of writing, it became all the more crucial for the authors and editors alike to pay extra close attention to spelling, grammar, and punctuation. As such, the presence of periods and other punctuation marks help to give Dr. Seuss books a much more polished, professional appearance.

3. The Role of Ted Geisel himself

While William Spaulding is undoubtedly the person responsible for encouraging Dr. Seuss to include proper grammar rules in his books, it was ultimately up to the author himself just how much control he wanted to maintain over his own works.

Geisel was a man known for his sense of humor as well as his stringent morals, and so it was natural that he would want to have control over even the finest of details within his creative visions. Despite Spaulding’s suggestions, Dr. Seuss ultimately had the final say in what went into his books, and given the immense popularity and success they achieved over the years, that approach proved to be incredibly successful.

The role of Ted Geisel himself, therefore, cannot be understated when talking about who put the periods in Dr. Seuss books. Whether it was adding in a new character or changing a turn of phrase, it was always the author himself who had the final word on any edits.”


In the end, it’s hard to pinpoint one individual or group of people responsible for adding the periods to Dr. Seuss’s books. William Spaulding certainly played a role in editing and refining the manuscripts, but ultimately, it was up to Dr. Seuss himself to decide what went into his stories.

The presence of periods and other punctuation marks helped give Dr. Seuss stories the sense of precision that made them feel so polished and professional, even when breaking away from conventional writing norms. Yet, it is ultimately the power of Dr. Seuss’s own creativity that has helped ensure his books continue to captivate readers of all ages.

Whatever the reason for their inclusion, these periods have become an essential part of the Dr. Seuss universe. They help to maintain deep and coherence in these whimsical tales, without detracting from the joyous celebration of imagination that they offer us all.

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