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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Is “$50-to-$75-million-a-year business” confusing?

Is "$50-to-$75-million-a-year business" confusing? (No, I cannot recast as much as I'd like to.) Could $50 above be initially construed as fifty dollars? Or is the phrase clear as I have it? I ...
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0answers
16 views

Is it “first-degree-murder charges” or “first-degree murder charges”?

Is it "first-degree-murder charges" or "first-degree murder charges"? Is " first-degree-murder" bundled together to modify "charges"? Or is "first-degree" bundled together to modify "murder ...
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2answers
1k views

What is the name of the glyph that separates sections of a chapter?

What is the mark of punctuation called that sometimes separates sections of a chapter with a glyph placed in the middle between the margins? It's hard to explain, but here's a picture. Does this have ...
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0answers
27 views

Do you agree with my interpretation of CMOS 16's section on phrasal adjectives?

Chicago 16 says this: “If more than one phrasal adjective modifies a single noun, hyphenation becomes especially important {nineteenth-century song-and-dance numbers} {state-inspected assisted-living ...
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1answer
80 views

Is “family-owned-and-operated business” punctuated correctly?

Is "family-owned-and-operated business" punctuated correctly? Yes or no? Certainly looks better than: a family-owned- and -operated business And in predicative position, is this okay? "The business ...
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1answer
43 views

How to list a small group of people with short descriptions?

I was wondering how to list a small group of people, giving each of them a short description/introduction in a single sentence? (Or if that's bad practice, in multiple sentences?) Example: The ...
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0answers
26 views

Should I quote this like a word or a quotation?

When quoting a word, you don't need the extra capitalization or comma that comes with quoting speech. For example, She says "vacation" is a word for going away and never coming back. I need some ...
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2answers
54 views

Which is correct use of comma in this phrase [duplicate]

"I live in Munich", says Carlos or "I live in Munich," says Carlos Which of these 2 punctuations is correct ?
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1answer
35 views

What kind of punctuation should be used here? [duplicate]

What type of punctuation should be used in the sentence "What is Stonehenge you might ask"?
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1answer
27 views

Using comma to delimit the name of a group and its constituents?

You are probably familiar with this comic which illustrates the possible ambiguity caused by leaving out the Oxford comma: However, this strikes me as plain wrong. I thought comma would not be used ...
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2answers
47 views

Rules on hyphenating phrases

I see a ton of questions on hyphenated words, specifically, but nothing on the more general question how/when they're supposed to be used vs omitted. Another great answer gives some general rules on ...
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3answers
133 views

Rule of punctuation when a principal sentence is followed by two or more subordinate sentences

I put below a text I found in a written reply I came across: "...in the Audit Report, it is stated that we did not rebut the Draft Audit Report (DAR). The actual fact is otherwise: we had prepared ...
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2answers
30 views

Stops or dashes for pauses in dialogue

What is the correct punctuation when one wants to include breaks or pauses in dialogue? Sometimes I use stops. For example, "It is possible...I...could be wrong." I have heard this is wrong ...
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1answer
90 views

Does the use of the symbol slash for “or” come from the use of “|” in computer programming? [closed]

Does the rise of acceptance in "/" for "or" come from the use of "|" in computer programming (For "OR")? If not is there any correlation?
2
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1answer
40 views

Does imperative + semicolon + declarative necessitate a causal relationship?

For instance, take the sentence "Go wash the windows; I like green bears." Given that the two clauses must be closely related because they are joined by a semicolon, is there any other way to ...
3
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2answers
133 views

Reimplement or re-implement? [duplicate]

Which form is correct (or more correct): reimplement or re-implement? And to extend the question a little bit, are there any rules concerning both, e.g. re-scan or rescan, re-evaluation or ...
1
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1answer
39 views

Quoting text that omits Oxford commas in a paper that includes Oxford commas

I'm writing a paper, and I quote several lists from a source that doesn't use Oxford commas. Sic seems way too strong for the situation, since there's no real error in the quotes, just a different ...
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2answers
41 views

Proper use of commas [closed]

Where should commas be inserted? In 2000 my future boss Bill Smith had a vision to build the tallest building in New York.
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2answers
51 views

What's the the proper usage of apostrophes for possession when two might be used? See example

I've looked other places online to try and find the answer to this question and was unable to confirm if I should use an apostrophe for both words or not. It seems awkward to do so but grammar rules ...
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0answers
46 views

What to call a brief sentence that comes before/after the main clause with only a comma

Here is my passage. I believe I'm doing it right, but I'm not sure why. Does this have a specific name? It doesn't seem like an interjection to me, so I'm not sure why I'm so comfortable using a ...
2
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3answers
71 views

Do capitalization and punctuation fall under the category of grammar?

I've just read something that implied that capitalization falls under the category of grammar. After looking at the definition ("the whole system and structure of a language or of languages in ...
2
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1answer
57 views

Capitalization of school subjects [duplicate]

What is the rule determinating whether or not we need to capitalize them? Sometimes I see "Math" ; "Physics" in the middle of a sentence, and sometimes lower case is used.
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1answer
36 views

What's the correct punctuation for the following phrase? [closed]

Suppose I am discussing two books, one authored by John Smith and James Wilson, the other authored by Anthony Jones. In comparing the two books, I wish to say: 'The disagreement between Jones and ...
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4answers
68 views

Hyphens in “nationally top ranked” [duplicate]

In order to combine "nationally" and "top-ranked" would the resulting qualifier be written as "nationally-top-ranked" or "nationally top-ranked"? Edit: I do not immediately see the applicability of ...
4
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1answer
46 views

Number Abbreviated as “No.” followed by a Colon

As I understand it, the preferred abbreviation for Number is "No." If we want to then follow that abbreviation with a colon, like in a form for instance, what does style dictate we do? Is it: ...
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1answer
47 views

Questions without a question mark (New Yorker) [duplicate]

How to listen to music How a City in France got out the World's first Short-Story vending machines How we learn fairness What makes great detective fiction according to T.S. Elliot What went wrong at ...
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1answer
26 views

Does another comma belong somewhere in this sentence?

In conclusion, their failure to properly house their animals and educate the human population are just two reasons why zoos are not as good as they claim to be. I'm trying to say that their failure ...
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2answers
30 views

Punctuation in an indirect quotation

Consider the brief passage: "I love your work, but calling you 'the artist' {1} just doesn't seem to be cutting it anymore. What shall I call you?" "OK. Call me George." {2} So my ...
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2answers
38 views

No question mark after reported question

I am not sure if this was asked before since I don't know if there is a specific terms for this usage. Is it fine not to put a question mark at the end of a sentence like this? He hadn't gone to ...
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0answers
34 views

How do I ask two questions back to back? [duplicate]

Example: What is that? A bird or an eagle? Is this the correct way to punctuate this sort of question?
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2answers
44 views

Is the punctuation of generational suffixes dropped when they occur at the end of a sentence? [duplicate]

Is the punctuation of generational suffixes (e.g. "Jr.", "Sr.") dropped when they occur at the end of a sentence? For instance, I liked Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. The obvious answer seems to be ...
0
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1answer
44 views

What's the difference between double quotes and single quotes when paraphrasing?

Not sure the exact name and proper use when someone paraphrases using single quotes (') vs double quotes ("), eg. 'abcd' as opposed to "abcd". Can someone explain the difference please?
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2answers
25 views

Is this use of comma correct?

Are the following two sentences correct? Does the comma need to be there? Walking down the stairs, she sighed. When he told her she had missed a form, she sighed.
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1answer
22 views

Punctuation Mark

I just wanted to know the exact name of a punctuation mark which is used below a word or words to indicate the repetition i.e. Impact of war on youth. // // // // elders. What is the specific name ...
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1answer
49 views

question mark vs. period

I came across a sentence structure similar to the below, and I am wondering if the sentence should end with a question mark or a period. How did you do that, she wondered? First of all, I would ...
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0answers
20 views

question about your vs. yours [duplicate]

question about "yours" Can I say I wish to take yours and Don's money? or do I need to say I wish to take your and don's money
2
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1answer
74 views

Double possessive: a friend of Steven's [duplicate]

I am wondering about the "double possessive" I have been reading about. I have a couple of sentences as an example: He’s a new client of Jane and Kevin’s and a close childhood friend of Steven ...
1
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0answers
28 views

Inverted commas or italics when you mouth something

I am wondering if it is better to use inverted commas or italics when you mouth something, rather than say it aloud. E.g. I cover the receiver and mouth Sorry to my friend. Or is it better to go ...
3
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3answers
182 views

13 Month Old or 13-Month-Old? [duplicate]

I have just installed Grammarly and it showed up something which i am not sure of. It corrected '13 month old' to '13-month-old'. The context is I ask because my 13-month-old God daughter ...
3
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2answers
97 views

When should 'viz.' be followed by a comma?

Some Latin abbreviations as 'i.e.' and 'e.g.' are always followed by a comma. For the Latin abbreviation 'viz.', sometimes it is followed by a comma, sometimes it is not. What is the rule for ...
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3answers
335 views

Is it “No can do” or “No can't do”?

You know the phrase that's usually said in a sing-song manner? Which is the correct one? I only ever hear it in spoken form, so I'm not sure if I'm mishearing it. Also, is there a comma in this ...
-2
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1answer
57 views

Usage of of colon (:) and dash (─) [duplicate]

I often find use of colon (:) and dash (─) confusing. Let me explain this with the help of the following title appearing in an article: Moto ─ an excellent car Sometimes, I find colon (:) is ...
0
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3answers
47 views

Proper punctuation for compound sentence with quote that is a question

How should this be properly punctuated? What is the purpose of human existence, or is it meaningless is the question asked by Juan Valdez in "What do coffee pickers with burros think about all day ...
1
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1answer
67 views

How to punctuate speech

I am writing speech such as: "There is just one problem" said she "I don't think my friend will like it." What is the correct way of punctuating this? I could put up to three full stops in ...
2
votes
2answers
71 views

Usage of commas and colon in sentence containing lists, and additional clauses

I've used this site to my benefit in the past, and now I have my own question. I have looked through some of the answers (although I admit not every one as I am short on time) and cannot find what I ...
0
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0answers
22 views

commas and 'or' going together in a list

a. They did things that were odd, rude or illegal. b. They did things that were odd, rude**, or** illegal. Which of the above means: They did things that were either odd, or rude or illegal. (some ...
0
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1answer
166 views

Comma before adverbial participial phrases (reduced adverbial phrases) and participial prepositions

Another tricky comma question that has recently popped up in my line work that I have not been able to resolve to my satisfaction. Apologies it's a bit long, but all parts are related and additional ...
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2answers
38 views

Use of punctuation of “First,…”

I am uncertain if and how to punctuate if I use only one sentence for the following idea: We conducted two varieties of an experiment. First, we left used method A. Second, we used method B. Can ...
0
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1answer
33 views

Punctuation: We promise [that] it's a big deal [duplicate]

I'm editing a marketing campaign. Out loud, one might say, "We promise it's a big deal." I believe there's an unspoken "that" in there: "We promise [that] it's a big deal." Would you punctuate the ...
0
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2answers
74 views

“What was really amazing, is that, the house had a little balcony.” [closed]

Is this sentence correct? What was really amazing, is that, the house had a little balcony.