1
vote
2answers
412 views

Too many commas in Harry Potter

The Harry Potter and Philosopher's Stone starts with the line - "Mr and Mrs Dursely, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. " Hasn't J.k. ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Figuring out what's wrong with the sentence

I took a quiz given in the BBC magazine. it had the following sentence. The Queen arrived at the castle with the King by her side, in a dress adorned with hand-sewn embroidered dragons. please ...
0
votes
2answers
103 views

A sentence with too many commas [closed]

Can someone please explain the following sentence? This perspective provides a primarily pragmatic justification, therefore, for confidentiality, in that any perceived limitations to, or ...
5
votes
1answer
95 views

“Were happily recovering” vs. “were, happily, recovering”

The hospital informed us that both victims were happily recovering. The hospital informed us that both victims were, happily, recovering. What is the difference in meaning between the ...
5
votes
3answers
251 views

If , as John Lawler says, orthography is not part of language, how can these commas interfere with today's discussion about gun control? [duplicate]

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. I read an interesting article on The New York ...
3
votes
1answer
530 views

Why ; is called semicolon and what is its history? [closed]

Semi- is a Latin prefix meaning "half" and colon is another punctuation. Should I therefore say that semicolon is a halved colon?
1
vote
1answer
114 views

What is a “big-ender pair”?

In the sci.math newsgroup ca. 23 Mar 2013, in thread Subject: Re: math formulae?, I saw the following: > >"Is the tournment liken to a bridge tournment? The problem is vague. > > ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Meaning of “My friend, who lives in Paris, is a teacher” with and without commas

Can anyone help me understand the difference in meaning between these two sentences? My friend who lives in Paris is a teacher. My friend, who lives in Paris, is a teacher. To me it ...
3
votes
5answers
354 views

Question Regarding Possessives with ('s) and (of) [duplicate]

Question: Is the first one redundant and proper, or is it redundant and not necessarily correct? (1) He is a friend of Doug's. (2) He is a friend of Doug.
3
votes
1answer
495 views

What is it called when punctuation changes the meaning of a sentence?

Is there a word describing a sentence whose meaning is changed by moving the punctuation? For example, Let’s eat, Mommy! and Let’s eat Mommy!
2
votes
2answers
138 views

Unions' Assassins' Guild or Union's Assassins' Guild?

Is it Unions' Assassins' Guild or Union's Assassins' Guild? If my English serves me, I think both are right but have slightly different meanings. Can someone shed some light?
8
votes
4answers
427 views

Can word-hyphenation ever be semantically significant?

I was prompted by this question (difference between ecosystem and eco-system) to wonder whether word-hyphenation can ever be semantically significant. My gut instinct is to say that since hyphenation ...
2
votes
5answers
13k views

When does a comma change the meaning of a sentence?

Match the two sentences with their meaning: 1) I had a discussion with a friend and a programmer. 2) I had a discussion with a friend, and a programmer. Meanings: a) I talked to a ...
3
votes
3answers
238 views

Meaning of quintuple-quote punctuation: '' ' ''

In a book my daughter is reading, I found the following usage of the unfamiliar symbols: But those words dont help. So I reach over, wipe away his tear with the side of my thumb, and say the only ...
3
votes
4answers
748 views

Can “…” mean the same thing as a semicolon?

Can a semicolon be replaced with "..." (an ellipsis) in a sentence? Is there any difference at all?
4
votes
1answer
153 views

“loving” vs. “love”

Boy your loving is all I think about 1) Why not a comma after 'boy'? Is this grammar correct, because it looks like two subjects? 2) Why not 'love'? What's the difference in this sentence?
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the difference between “solidus” and “slash”?

I was reading a text, and I found the word solidus. What is a solidus? Is the word normally used in everyday language, or is there another word that replaces solidus even if it's not the completely ...