Punctuation is the term used for the marks, such as the period/full stop, comma, dash, and parentheses, used to separate structural units, and perform other roles that clarify the meaning.

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Punctuation question: quotation marks around names in dialog?

If you refer to a name alone and not along with a person in dialog, do you put single quotation marks around it? E.g., "Yeah, I agree with you there. 'Jon' is pretty common, but the same could be ...
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47 views

“Scare quotes” and placement of question mark--inside or outside?

Consider the following sentence: Did you know you can donate "stuff"? "Stuff" in this case means "anything besides cash." It's the lead-in to an article informing users on a charity's website ...
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23 views

Is the usage of this semicolon correct? Should I replace it with a colon or dash?

I am getting ready to have my first tattoo and, as a fairly strict grammarian, I want to make sure that I get it right. I plan for the tattoo to look like the following, but I'm not totally sure about ...
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1answer
37 views

Correct Usage of Quotation Marks

I was told the other day that when writing a report, the first occurrence of a word should be in quotes and all further occurrences should not. When I asked whether there was a rule to which words ...
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2answers
47 views

Punctuating illustrating questions

I am writing an academic report and I am trying to figure out how to punctuate the following: The previous results cannot provide an answer to questions like, what is the probability of X given Y ...
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1answer
33 views

What is the rule for using a period on a game card?

For example: This appears on a card in a game: "Equipment worn by players on one hand to field baseballs." The answer appears immediately below it..."Mitt" Another example: "Black disk made of hard ...
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1answer
42 views

How does punctuation affect this clause in a sentence?

In this sentence: Parents and children, under the age of 18, that live in the same residence When punctuated this way, does the age restriction apply to both parents and children? I mean, ...
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3answers
69 views

I'm looking for the possessive of 'boss' [duplicate]

What is the possessive of boss; ie, how do you describe the son of the boss?
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1answer
69 views

How is the spelling of a hyphenated word read?

How is the spelling of a hyphenated word usually read out loud? For example, with "Anglo-Saxon", do we say: "It is spelt as ...
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30 views

double punctuation marks: one inside parenthesis and one outside

I don't seem to be able to find the answer I'm after so here is my question. Can I make a sentence and at the end of the sentence make a a startling comment in parenthesis ending with an exclamation ...
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0answers
37 views

“It follows that” + an equation or “It follows” + an equation? [on hold]

Which of the following sentences is correct? (a) It follows: a=b. (1) or (b) It follows a=b. (1) or (c) It follows that: ...
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3answers
35 views

Is it correct to place comma between successive adjectives?

When a noun has more than one adjective some time I see comma is used between them. Is it just an incorrect use of comma? e.g "Unwind by a nice hot bath" vs "Unwind by a nice, hot bath". Also "There ...
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1answer
54 views

“Just as clear as mud as ever” — proper grammar/usage

A co-worker asked,"How's it going?" to which I replied, Oh, it's just as clear as mud as ever! The context for this is regarding client requirements convolution. The requirements are still ...
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3answers
46 views

Comma(s) when starting a sentence with both an introductory element and participial clause [duplicate]

If a sentence is starting with both an introductory element and a participial clause, where do I need to set the comma(s) appropriately? Consider the following versions of an example sentence: ...
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6answers
3k views

“For all it's worth” or “for all its worth”?

Should I put an apostrophe in "for all its worth"? The meaning comes to about the same thing either way, as far as I can make out, and it seems like "it's" is more popular. But is there an accepted ...
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4answers
67 views

Do I need to put a comma before every “because”? [closed]

I am correcting a document and was told that I have to put a comma before every occurrence of “because” mid-sentence. Example: This might be because another algorithm was chosen. The ...
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0answers
17 views

Quoting lyrics or lines of poetry

When quoting a lyric or line of poetry in running prose, should the original capitalisation be preserved?
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2answers
120 views

What is a thorpe?

# is an octothorpe * is a hexathorpe + a quadrathorpe - a duothorpe but What is a thorpe??? This question came from an argument in comments on stackoverflow that started over an American calling ...
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2answers
37 views

Use of dash or comma in bulleted list?

I have been charged with taking over a monthly prayer letter which had been managed by several different staff members. Each had a different way of handling a bulleted list. One used a dash while the ...
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3answers
92 views

“Big black eyes” vs. “big and black eyes” [duplicate]

I've heard many people say "big black eyes," and I'm curious whether or not we must put an and in-between big and black. To me, since big and black are describing eyes, it is necessary to put an and ...
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0answers
23 views

Appropriate punctuation in condolences [duplicate]

Could a comma be used after RIP; if directed towards someone who passed away? Example: RIP, Shirley
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2answers
47 views

What is the best way to forcefully say each word in a sentence.

Here is the example that I have: "Mother," I said with clenched teeth, "I said I don't want to talk about it." Now, I'd like to express the fact that each word in the second part of the ...
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1answer
68 views

Can we use the abbreviation “etc” without a period/full stop?

Throughout Practical English Usage 3rd Edition (Swan, 2005), the author writes etc in a manner I can't help but wonder if it's a typo. Much/far/a lot etc more money Many/far/a lot etc ...
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1answer
22 views

“like many others” indicates/points to which part of the sentence?

In the following sentence- As I love to read, like many others, a desire for writing grew inside me. the part "like many others" indicates/points to which part of the sentence? i.e. to "As I ...
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1answer
35 views

How should I punctuate the “Shocked” line from Casablanca?

I'm writing something that mimics the famous "Shocked" line from Casablanca, but I can't find a good way to punctuate the phrase without it looking odd. Any ideas please? I'm shocked, shocked, ...
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1answer
30 views

“Respect, where has it gone?” vs “Respect. Where has it gone?”

We are using the following topic for a speech contest and there is a question as to punctuation Respect, where has it gone? or Respect. Where has it gone?
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2answers
79 views

Proper Punctuation for “Over” in Radio Communication

Given the statement "Vickery to Crann, Over" as radio communication, and knowing that over, as a radio procedure, is used to request a response from the person/group in which the radio procedure had ...
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74 views

Is this sentence structure correct? I catch myself using this structure a lot [closed]

This is a line from a story I'm writing: "The blanket had been peeled back, revealing imprints of recent slumber." Is this correct or should I make another sentence for the second clause?
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1answer
53 views

Comma placement between two clauses

Based on my research, #2 is most correct, with two independent clauses separated by the "and". For some reason, a pause after "and" SOUNDS better to me. Is one of these correct and the others ...
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1answer
52 views

Should I use a colon or semicolon?

Which of the following punctuations is more appropriate? Strict liability serves to uphold the rights of individuals: in this case, the rights of the neighbor to the security of his property. or ...
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2answers
61 views

Apostrophe with Singular Proper Noun made up on Plural Word [duplicate]

I'm normally pretty confident with my punctuation, but this one has been stumping me, and it's probably because I don't know the proper phrasing for what I'm trying to ask: How to we add a possessive ...
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0answers
23 views

Why add extra space between a word and punctuation (e.g. a period, question mark, etc.)? [duplicate]

I was just wondering this because of noticing a lot of people I've worked with typed this way. Examples: Okay, that's great . Thanks, Stephanie . Was there anything else ? I was wondering if ...
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1answer
36 views

Punctuation for a compound question

What is the proper punctuation for the following? Have you heard, I like chocolate ice cream (?) (.) Should it be two separate sentences? Have you heard? I like chocolate ice cream. Is there a ...
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1answer
59 views

If the article title ends in closing punctuation, do we still add a period in an APA reference? [closed]

I have a question about citing a reference in APA format. The following reference was created by one of the members of my school group for a paper we are working on (let's just dismiss indentation on ...
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1answer
28 views

Punctuation between clauses when the first clause is a series

I have this sentence: Even if I seem too busy, or you made a mistake, or someone we care about will be upset, or you feel embarrassed, if anything bothers you, I want to know. I believe that ...
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2answers
62 views

How should one punctuate “upper right most”?

For upper right most, I’ve seen it written upper-right most, upper-right-most, and with no hyphens at all. What makes the most sense to me is upper rightmost, but it’s hard to tell that upper right ...
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3answers
77 views

Is “Are” always used with plural verbs/nouns? [duplicate]

Examples: There's six seasons, dude. Wouldn't it be: There're six seasons, dude. We are talking about multiple items; six seasons. If we refer to multiple items, we should use "Are" in ...
2
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2answers
92 views

Questions becoming statements [duplicate]

Sometimes there is an interesting effect when you convert a question into a statement, though this does seem somewhat modern. For example, What the heck. as opposed to What the heck? or ...
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2answers
39 views

Proper Names Functioning as Adjectives

To me, "California," "New Jersey," "Texas," "N.Y.," and "1969" are functioning as appositives in the examples below, when in fact they are not. All these words are essential information to the ...
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2answers
36 views

What is the proper comma placement around an Author's Name?

The Gregg Reference Manual, by William Sabin, was a bestseller. Are the commas correct in this sentence? She loved the Gregg Reference Manual, by William Sabin. Is the comma correct after ...
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1answer
58 views

How do I correctly punctuate the phrase “that is” in the context of an explanation?

I find myself wanting to use the phrase "that is" or "that's to say" but often can't figure out what sort of punctuation I use with it. I think it's an explanatory phrase, but I'm not sure. I ...
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0answers
24 views

Can a declarative, independent clause be considered an introductory element?

Consider this question: Are you going to the birthday party? I know that the following response can be punctuated correctly in at least two ways: "I hope so. I have already bought a ...
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2answers
49 views

Does removing the comma before 'which' in a non-restrictive clause change the meaning of the sentence?

There are many 'rules' on the net saying that a comma should be placed before the relative pronoun 'which' in a non-restrictive clause. (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/relative-clauses) But ...
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12 views

One or two possessive apostrophes for two subjects with different possession [duplicate]

'The similarities between Odelle's and Smith’s artistic depictions of women [...]' OR 'The similarities between Odelle and Smith’s artistic depictions of women [...]' The point in question regards ...
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31 views

Comma after “first” [duplicate]

Can anyone justify the presence and absence of comma after first in the sentences below? First we’ll create a screen for the user to log in. First, we’ll define the AniJS helper and then ...
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1answer
46 views

commas in “They are sweet, not sour, grapes”

In the sentence "They are sweet, not sour, grapes.", is the second comma correct, incorrect, or optional?
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3answers
50 views

Comma splice proceeded by conjunctive adverb

I'm wondering what the rule is as to where any commas or semicolons would go. (a) and (b) are showing the two sentences that are to be combined, and (a)+(b)[1,2] show the sentences in question. (a): ...
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1answer
57 views

Using 'certainly' at the end of a sentence — what is the correct punctuation and what is the construction called?

Consider this construction: Certainly, I will see you tomorrow. The word 'certainly' constitutes an introductory phrase, and the appropriate punctuation to use is a comma. (AFAIK). Now, ...
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3answers
168 views

Are the commas right? [duplicate]

The man, who is standing there, is her ex-husband. Are these commas needed? Or is it: The man who is standing there is her ex-husband.
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3answers
137 views

Marine Corps Possessive [duplicate]

I am editing my brother’s paper, and I realized I am unsure about the possessive form of Marine Corps, such as The best kept secret of the Marine Corps Is it the Marine Corps’ best kept ...