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 a comma appended to an ellipsis in the middle of a quotation?

Digging through every ELU question I can find on the matter, I still can’t locate a specific answer to this question of punctuation. Which of these is correct? “Maybe...” I said, injecting an ...
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1answer
2k views

What is the proper way to ask two questions in one sentence?

Every now and again I find myself writing a sentence like this: INPUT in LPINPUT is some data structure I can identify — what does LP mean, array? I don't know what to call this type of ...
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2answers
23k views

Should there be a comma after “Thank you”?

Should there be a comma anywhere in the following sentence? Thank you Annie for making us proud.
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1answer
583 views

What is meant by this use of quotation marks?

I was reading an article Meet the Artist Who Blows Things Up for a Living in 4th paragraph the author says When I visit Cai (as everyone calls him, pronouncing it “Tsai”) in his spare East ...
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1answer
764 views

What's the name of a large curly brace?

I'm looking for a particular element for a project and I'm not sure what to google. What's the name of that large brace that is used to group items together? A crude Paint rendition:
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3answers
5k views

Should I use a full stop at the end of text in a table?

The table has a mix of fragments and full sentences. I'm concerned that if I have full stops after the sentences and none after the fragments it will look inconsistent to the reader.
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2answers
7k views

Should I use commas or semi-colons in this multi-item list within a sentence?

In the following sentence, I am listing multiple areas of study. Should they be separated by commas or semi-colons? "In my exposure to this field so far, I have come to appreciate just how ...
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3answers
113k views

Comma before “including”?

Does this sentence require a comma before including? He has written on a range of moral issues including poverty, globalization, and euthanasia.
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1answer
200 views

How should one punctuate the phrase “simply to understand devote yourself”?

I found an acronym for the word STUDY online. However, the punctuation looks amiss. It reads Simply — to understand, devote yourself! But I think the dash makes no sense here. Am I right? ...
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1answer
435 views

“And those who were seen dancing, were thought to be crazy, by those who could not hear the music.” Are these commas required?

Just spotted this as an answer in Quora: And those who were seen dancing, were thought to be crazy, by those who could not hear the music. At first look, I thought the comma between dancing and ...
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1answer
173 views

In text Citation [duplicate]

If your quote is at the end of a sentence and is the end of its own sentence as well does the period go inside the parentheses or outside of it? Also what would you do with the in text citation (page ...
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3answers
25k views

How to use commas around the word “both”?

In the following sentence, how should I place commas around the word "both"? Should there be a comma before AND a comma after "both", or ONLY after it? Should there be commas at all? This includes ...
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2answers
524 views

punctuation of “damned if you do and damned if you don't” [duplicate]

Personally, I think quotes are best, but lately, I'm hearing that quotes are incorrect and dashes should be used between the words. What say you? damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don't or ...
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1answer
576 views

Serial commas in quotations

If the publication you are proofing for uses the serial comma, and an essay you're proofing includes a quotation from a biography that does not use a serial comma, is it permissible to silently add ...
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3answers
256 views

Comma in “Is milk without coffee, considered latte?”

Is the presence of the comma in, "Is milk without coffee, considered latte?", acceptable usage?
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1answer
167 views

Proper punctuation? [duplicate]

1) What looks better to you ? 2) What looks better to you? Many years ago, I found myself adding a space before exclamation points and question marks. I don't, however, put a space before a period. ...
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1answer
169 views

Comma Delimitation

I just started reading Terence Tao's second edition analysis textbook, and I came across the following sentence. 1.2 Why do analysis? It is a fair question to ask, "why bother?", when it comes to ...
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2answers
6k views

When to choose em dash over parenthesis for parenthetical phrases?

According to Wikipedia: The em dash, m dash, m-rule, or "mutton" (—) often demarcates a break of thought or some similar interpolation stronger than the interpolation demarcated by parentheses ...
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1answer
511 views

Double parentheses ((. . .))

I wonder why the author used two parentheses in the sentence below: While touring the Center for Agrobiotechnology at Monterrey Tech, its director, Guy Cardineau, a scientist from Arizona, ...
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1answer
199 views

Larry and the fanboys

In the Penguin guide to punctuation Larry Trasks claims that a joining comma must be followed by and, or, but, yet or while. However, I was under the impression that a joining comma should be ...
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2answers
2k views

Comma or semicolon?

Which of the following is correct? This not only produces higher success rates, it increases our energy and morale instead of depleting them. This not only produces higher success rates; it ...
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1answer
460 views

What is the best way in which to understand bracketed text?

Though a native English-speaker, I've always had trouble understanding bracketed text. It's fairly clear that parenthesis indicate "optional" text, as in below: The (unusually quick) man stormed ...
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4answers
8k views

Using an ellipsis to show omission, when we skip complete sentences. 3 or 4 dots? [duplicate]

Imagine I want to quote this text (the parts in bold): If there were such a thing, I think I'd be a champion. You know, baking under dangerous conditions, high-speed frosting... all hypothetical ...
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3answers
183k views

Use of a semicolon before and comma after “however”

Several years ago, a previous boss told me to use a semicolon and comma with the word "however". I've always questioned this and would like to know if the following random sentences are using the ...
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1answer
13k views

Where do I put a comma when I have quotes around a short story, and the sentence structure needs a comma? [duplicate]

Where do I put a comma when I have quotes around a short story, and the sentence structure needs a comma? I know that, generally, commas go inside of quotes, but what if the quotes are marking a short ...
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1answer
230 views

Should a chapter title be punctuated with quotes in text?

If one is typing the name of the chapter inside a story, do they put quotes around it? If not, how is one indicated?
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0answers
34 views

Software to change American punctuation to British [migrated]

My apologies if this is off topic. American and British writing have different punctuation styles. Is there any software that can change American style punctuation to British? I am referring to ...
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1answer
218 views

Punctuation for lists

I have a sentence like this: As you can see, there are two projects "project1" and "project2", where the latter uses the global wrapper functions defined in "project1" project. My question is ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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3answers
24k views

Is the comma before “with” necessary?

The Oscars may not take place until February 24, but awards season is already in full swing, with the Golden Globes among Hollywood's many red-carpet events. (British Vogue, Feb 2013) I've been ...
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3answers
475 views

Punctuation of a Direct Quote [closed]

Is any particular punctuation necessary when a quotation is the subject of a sentence? For example, in the sentence below, should there be a comma after export? Or anything else? "Laughter is ...
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5answers
562 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.
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0answers
32 views

Correct place of period [duplicate]

Consider following that is followed by a parenthetical sentence. Which one is correct according to punctuation rules? Xxx yyy zzz. (Aaa bbb ccc.) Xxx yyy zzz (Aaa bbb ccc.).
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3answers
12k views

Can a semicolon be used to separate questions? [closed]

Did you see Survivor last night; it was crazy, right? Did you see Survivor last night? It was crazy, right? Can a semicolon separate questions? Which one is correct?
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2answers
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Can “both” be used in this way as an appositive?

Although not a preferred style, in the following example, is it incorrect to treat "both" as an appositive, and therefore to insert commas around it? Thank you, both, for helping.
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1answer
984 views

Do punctuation marks take on the formatting of the preceding word?

If the last word of a sententece is in boldface, should the question mark be bolded as well? Which example is correct (see below)? Example 1: How much did your hip, leg or foot hurt? Example 2: How ...
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3answers
358 views

Comma after a long introductory phrase

Please help me with commas in the following sentence: As an example of the successful use of such a model [,] one can mention SymPy computer algebra system [,] which uses Python as a main user ...
2
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2answers
574 views

Ending a sentence with “?!” or “!?”

When ending a sentence with a ? and a !, is there a rule which one comes first? That is, ?! or !?? If either is okay, are they interchangeable, or for difference circumstances?
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1answer
246 views

Comma with explanatory insertions?

I wonder if there should be commas in this sentence: Method A translates votes into seats such that, for each constituency, fixed seat-contingents are met. Method A translates votes into seats such ...
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3answers
10k views

Punctuation to denote sarcasm

Does such a thing exist? I am aware of the irony mark but it appears the backwards question mark symbol doesn't exist in most modern fonts (U+2E2E). That seems to be a good indication of its ...
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3answers
188 views

Punctuation and word choice in one particular sentence

I'm wondering, what is the correct punctuation in this sentence: In OOP, each object contains data and a set of methods, which operate on the data. I read the rules about restrictive and ...
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1answer
740 views

Punctuation or perhaps more [closed]

Does the punctuation in the following sentence make sense? John is popular among clients, as well as the management who have been very pleased with his work.
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4answers
4k views

He said “she is pretty” [closed]

How to correctly punctuate this? He said "she is pretty". Is a comma a must after 'said'? Do we need to make 's' in 'she' capitalized?
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4answers
620 views

Using any punctuation, how many meanings does this sign have? [closed]

I was walking in the Norfolk countryside today, when I spotted this sign. Notice that it is devoid of punctuation. It is obviously a warning sign to motorists. However, it made me giggle. Using any ...
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8answers
8k views

Em dash vs semicolon: which is more appropriate in the following examples?

I am very confused by these, and even when I understand other people's usage of them I find it difficult to know when to employ them myself. For this reason, I am trying to make my own examples and ...
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1answer
397 views

What do the question marks in this quote mean (or are they typos)?

I read the following in an article entitled "Duke resets after the 'annihilation'" By Laura Keeley of the Raleigh News and Observer, dated Friday, January 25, 2013. I've not seen question marks used ...
2
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1answer
2k views

Questions on question mark with a certain type of sentence

Do you use a question mark when a sentence starts as a question but then turns into a statement? For example, "Can you explain this to me, because I don't understand the second part." Another example ...
2
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3answers
381 views

Correct sentence ending: X asked, “Y?”

Is it correct to use sentences in the following format? X asked, “...?”. That is, a simple interrogative sentence enclosed within quotes followed by a period. Which is the correct sentence? ...
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2answers
128 views

Is prefixing “@” to address a person becoming an English standard?

In order to address or reply to a person, is prefixing an "@" symbol in front of their names becoming a standard in English? This is really useful in e-communications wherein a parts of message can ...
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1answer
6k views

The usage of en dash between two complete dates

Is it necessary to put a space before and after the symbol en dash (–) put between two complete dates? Example: January 1, 2013 – January 1, 2014