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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
3answers
6k views

Using “and” twice in a list

About using and, I've learned it is usually used in lists, between the last two items. For example: I like movies, traveling and going out with friends. Please tell me if the use of and ...
3
votes
3answers
18k views

Comma before quote marks around article title?

I'm thinking about making a headline. I know you would use a comma here: Professor Bill Bick then told me, "There will be more jobs when the economy recovers." What about here? Read ...
6
votes
2answers
568 views

To hyphenate borne, or not to hyphenate borne? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is it necessary to use a hyphen in writing a compound word? In my place of business, it is part of our style guide to hyphenate "vehicle-borne IED," but not ...
0
votes
2answers
518 views

Where should I put the comma in this sentence? [closed]

The three main factors of bullying among teenagers are problematic family background, strong desire of power and popularity and influence from mass media. The number of ands in this sentence ...
0
votes
1answer
916 views

“—” vs. “;” vs. “,” vs. “()” — what's the difference? [closed]

All of these punctuation marks seem to have the same purpose. Is there any general guideline for picking one for each use case?
3
votes
3answers
470 views

Larry Trask seems to be violating rules about commas as mentioned in his own guide

I was reading Larry Trask's guide on how to use the comma. His node11.html mentions that we should not use a joining comma before any word other than and, or, but, while and yet. But in node13.html, ...
1
vote
4answers
11k views

How do hyphens modify the meaning of “n-month-old”?

I see three different ways of hyphenating the phrase "six month old". Six-month old: A six-month old poses with a machine gun owned by supporters of the Free Syrian Army. Six-month-old: ...
1
vote
2answers
909 views

Capitalization and punctuation rules for formatted quotations appearing in the middle of the sentence

My question regards situations when the mid-sentence quotation, such as This is a mid-sentence quotation which stands out by its formatting , stands out by its formatting. I understand that ...
1
vote
1answer
111 views

What is the appropriate punctuation to indicate the final phrase applies to both of the preceding requirements? [closed]

What is the appropriate punctuation to indicate that the phrase "or agency-recognized equivalent" refers to both instruction and examination in the following phrase? X has successfully completed ...
14
votes
3answers
77k views

Should “So”, “Therefore”, “Hence”, and “Thus” be followed by commas?

Often, I have come across sentences that begin with "So". Should such an usage of "So" be followed by a comma? Are the following examples correct. He is very good at computers. So, I think he can ...
-5
votes
2answers
784 views

Comma confusion [closed]

I'm pretty sure this is a duplicate, but it's a generic case and searching brings up thousands of examples, so I'm forced to post. The question is, which of the sentences below is punctuated ...
3
votes
1answer
511 views

Semicolon use: a quick question

Is the following sentence correct, and is its use of the semicolon correct? Note that the use of the word 'concurrency' is meant to indicate a computer science term. A host of design issues are ...
7
votes
6answers
10k views

Is there an alternative, one-word name for the question mark?

Is there an alternative name for the question mark? For example, the exclamation point is often called a bang, the number symbol is called a pound sign or sharp symbol and the asterisk symbol is ...
-1
votes
1answer
4k views

Should I say “another ones” or “another one's” [closed]

Since I'm implying possession should I say another one's and your's? The book could either be yours or another ones. Is it "yours" or "your's" and "another ones" or "another one's"?
7
votes
3answers
722 views

Is a comma needed after “a, b and c”?

Does a sentence like this need a comma where the question mark stands? Sunshine is an app for smartphones, tablets and computers [?] that lets you track and post weather news to blogs, social ...
-2
votes
4answers
4k views

Probably excessive commas - a part of sentence looks like a list of items

Sometimes, when I am trying to put into a sentence all the commas that should be there, according to the rules, it begins to look like a list of items - a comma after every word. (Edit: and as David ...
-2
votes
1answer
113 views

A Grave Accent? [closed]

' ‘ See the two characters above. I've placed the single-quote there for contrast. Out of curiosity what is the first character called? It seems to give me a lot of trouble in my software. Is it ...
3
votes
0answers
47 views

Do I use semicolons to create a list where there are commas in the items? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it proper usage to replace a comma in a list with a semi-colon in this situation (see details)? When should one use the comma versus the semicolon, and vice versa? I ...
1
vote
1answer
482 views

Exclamation before or after the interrogation? Doesn't matter? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a standard ordering for the question mark and the exclamation mark used together? Which is correct: Was That Folk!? Was That Folk?! Or both? I ...
2
votes
3answers
563 views

What punctuation symbols mean “not in the full sense of the referenced phrase?”

This strip of Dinosaur Comics made me wonder whether it is appropriate to use quotation marks (in the terms of the comic) "as a not in the full sense of the word" lingual marker. Searching Google, I ...
2
votes
1answer
92 views

How would you express colons in speaking?

There are two colons in the following lines a radio personality is speaking. How does the speaker get his listeners to feel the existence of colons? Maybe intonation? or a shorter pause? (On the ...
8
votes
5answers
5k views

Singular or plural verb form where subject includes a “parenthetical” element

My question arises from this one, where OP asks whether he should use the singular or plural verb form after "the title, as well as the tone," As luck would have it, when I searched Google Books for ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

What is this symbol called: “¶” [closed]

I'm trying to find out what this symbol means and if it has a name: ¶ I've seen it being used in word processors.
4
votes
2answers
635 views

Usage of a comma for emphasis

It is grammatically acceptable to say the following? Don't forget, they could be tricking us.
-1
votes
2answers
8k views

Proper punctuation in abbreviation of Nota Bene [closed]

Which of the following are "correct" ways to abbreviate Nota Bene? N.B. blahblah n.b. blahblah NB. blahblah nb. blahblah NB: blahblah nb: blahblah NB blahblah nb blahblah (etc.) Authoritative ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

What rules determine the apostrophe placement in “ham 'n eggs” and similar expressions?

In expressions such as "ham 'n eggs", the conjunction 'n appears to replace and, yet there is only one apostrophe to indicate the missing a and none for the missing d (i.e., no "ham 'n' eggs"). Is ...
2
votes
1answer
310 views

Parentheses vs. commas vs. hyphen or dash in a list of people

In a list of people published in a bulletin, which is correct? We continue in prayer for: Amy B.(cancer), T. Jones(nephew of Tim), Lillie (on the death of her brother), Sally(Nursing Home), ...
7
votes
5answers
45k views

Comma before “as well as”

Here is the sample sentence: We have carried out works for private individuals and property developers as well as our own building projects." Should there be a comma before as well as in this ...
14
votes
2answers
52k views

Use of capitals and full stops in bullet points [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Capitalization for a bullet list Let's say I have a bullet point list e.g: Point 1. Point 2. Point 3. Notice I have put a capital letter for the starting letter of ...
9
votes
3answers
270 views

Which punctuation mark dominates?

If a question is asked in surprise, informally many people use "?!" as their ending punctuation, as in the following: What did you do to my sausages?! According to the accepted answer in this ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Instructing someone to ask him/herself. Which is the correct use of punctuation?

Which is the correct form? Ask yourself, is this really what you want? or Ask yourself, "Is this really what you want?" or Ask yourself. Is this really what you want? (Sorry for ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Starting a sentence with “Starting with”

When you want to summarize a list of items, can you use "Starting with" at the beginning of a sentence in order to explain the first item? For example, is the following grammatically correct? I ...
19
votes
4answers
24k views

Is it appropriate to put a comma before “which”?

On Server Fault, we were discussing this question in chat. There are non-native speakers in the chat and somehow we got on the topic of grammar and proper use of commas. The sentence of interest: ...
8
votes
4answers
521 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
332 views

Repetition of hyphen in shared prefixes [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Can a hyphen be used without anything on the right side? I'm trying to discuss types of semiconductor, there is P-type and N-type. Assuming my hyphenation is correct, ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Repeating “to” in a list of verbs connected by “and”

"This group’s main duties are to carry out information systems audits in Colombian banks and to make research and develop new regulations on information technologies and systems in the banking ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

More dastardly dashes: what are the 'horizontal bar' and 'figure dash' characters for? [closed]

Having read another excellent answer regarding the use of horizontal line-like characters, I'm interested to know the meanings of the horizontal bar and figure dash. In the other answer linked above, ...
2
votes
3answers
273 views

Question regarding sentence structure in a NY Times article about Michelle Obama

In a NY Times article titled "Michelle Obama and the Evolution of a First Lady", there is this sentence: Rahm Emanuel, then chief of staff, repeated the first lady’s criticisms to colleagues with ...
1
vote
3answers
6k views

Is “Thanks” a complete sentence? [closed]

When not used as a polite closing, are "Thanks" and "Thank you" sentences ending with a period? "Thanks. I appreciate your effort." "Thank you, Kevin. I will be in touch soon."
2
votes
2answers
744 views

How does one deal with one word in parenthesis at the start of a sentence? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: (I'm not sure) how to capitalize this sentence How does one deal with capitalization in a situation like this: Correlation does not not imply causation. (Link) ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Which dash should be used to indicate “None”, “No Answer”, or “Not Applicable”? [closed]

Consider the following overview of an individual's profile: Name: John Smith Age: 29 Marital status: Single Spouse's Name: - The dash given as "Spouse's Name" indicates that there is no ...
5
votes
1answer
44k views

How to punctuate an embedded quoted question within a declarative sentence? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I punctuate around quotes? I'm having a devil of a time trying to determine how to punctuate an embedded quoted question within a declarative sentence. A ...
2
votes
1answer
196 views

Ending punctuation of “How are you”?

I've seen the "how are you" questions on this forum, but mine is a bit different. I read this in the Readers Digest once: Don't tell your friends about your indigestion. 'How are you' is a ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I write a given date in an abbreviated form? [closed]

Are these acceptable? Nov. 2nd, 2011 Nov 2nd, 2011 Nov 2, 2011
1
vote
6answers
949 views

What is the correct conjunction or punctuation for the following sentence?

I have two sentences as follows: We don't know what we should do if the worst case happens. The worse case is when the math teacher does not allow us to use calculators in the test. I want to ...
2
votes
4answers
785 views

Are commas properly used in “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.”?

George Bernard Shaw said, "He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches." Are commas properly used in these sentences? In my mind, the comma in each sentence improperly separates the noun ("he") from the ...
9
votes
5answers
4k views

Question mark when ending sentence with “I wonder”?

I know that when a sentence begins with "I wonder" followed by a question, it is typically ended with a period. I wonder why that is. However, when "I wonder" is moved to the end of the ...
1
vote
3answers
179 views

Which one is the correct phrase, and why?

I am confused about the following two phrases: Generalising them is very easy. If you talk to some of them chosen at random, other largely share their views. Generalising them is very easy. If you ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Spaces after periods in abbreviations

Should I put spaces after periods in the following examples? A.B. Buffington (between the initials) Vol.2, No.6, pp.195-200 I see people missing spaces in their academic writing all the time and I ...
-2
votes
1answer
683 views

What's the best way to write a reported question? [closed]

Which of the following is correct: People ask me, what Google.com is? or People ask me, what is Google.com?