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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2answers
268 views

Usage of a comma in a dedication

Does the dedication "To my beloved John" need a comma after "beloved"?
3
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3answers
3k views

Commas after Conjunctions

So we've already discussed at length whether it's okay to start a sentence with a coordinating conjunction, and it's pretty clear that it is (and I've already done it in this sentence). But (there we ...
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3answers
4k views

Comma placement: “Hi, my name is Joe and I work in a button factory.”

Will someone please tell me where commas should go in the following sentence: Hi, my name is Joe and I work in a button factory.
1
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1answer
142 views

Shorebased, Shore-based or Shore Based?

What is the best or correct way to spell this adjective (e.g. shorebased training)?
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1answer
142 views

Punctuation for title and caption

I'm displaying a title and caption along with an artist's painting. Are the quote marks correct like this? Title: “The Tree” Caption: “A black tree in the wild”
2
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1answer
248 views

Doubly hyphenated words

Consider the word quasi-first-class. Are the hyphens used correctly? Should the two hyphens be of different length to denote the distinction of the hyphenation? Is there a general rule to deal with ...
10
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1answer
12k views

Why is it “grandfather”, but “great-uncle”?

I know that there are six forms of this word, but "great-uncle" is most common ("great-aunt" has a similar graph). Why is this, if "grandfather" and "grandmother" are common?
1
vote
1answer
877 views

etc. with postpositioned brackets at the end of a sentence

Where do I put the period when etc. is at the end of a sentence, but between etc. and the end of the sentence is a bracket? To give context, after etc. I cite a reference. Which of these is correct? ...
5
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1answer
2k views

Comma Splice? “I'm curious, what is the time?”

I asked a question earlier regarding alternative ways of structuring indirect questions (please refer to this link). Forgive me if I'm over analyzing this, but I never write sentences like this so ...
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3answers
1k views

Alternative to Indirect Questions

The syntax for indirect questions is that the verb goes after the subject such as, I am wondering what the time is. If not asked as an indirect or embedded question, what punctuation would you ...
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4answers
16k views

Is it OK to use a forward slash '/' between words other than the obvious 'and/or'?

I don't want to get into the proper use of the phrase 'and/or', but rather to investigate the use of the forward slash between other words. Examples: I have an interview with him/her this afternoon. ...
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1answer
232 views

Why a dash in this example? [closed]

I am reading an article by Bill Keller (The Times). He wrote: Through the years, The New York Times’s coverage of the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican has received sharp criticism from ...
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5answers
1k views

Is it OK to add a question mark to show inflection?

When asking a question you generally have to raise your voice at the end of the sentence, is it okay to stuff a question mark in order to show inflection? A couple examples: 'That really happened?' ...
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5answers
4k views

Why is the unit of measure placed before the value for currencies? Are there other measures where the unit precedes value?

$1,000 is pronounced as "one thousand dollars". Reading from left to right, it seems like it would make more sense to write the value as: 1,000$. This way the pronunciation of the value follows the ...
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1answer
1k views

Abbreviation of EU and associated punctuation

Why doesn't the abbreviation of European Union (EU) carry periods with it as the abbreviation of United States (U.S.) does, for example? A brief online search turned up little on the punctuation of ...
12
votes
2answers
11k views

Should I use a period at the end of a headline?

I am working on copywriting for my website, and am wondering whether or not I should use periods at the end of my headlines. The headlines will probably be used both as headlines for news articles, ...
9
votes
2answers
566 views

Why aren't double quotes always closed? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I use quotation marks in sections of multi-line dialogue? Sometimes when reading, I will see a " at the beginning of a paragraph [When someone is speaking]. ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

Where should the period be put when an entire sentence is quoted at the end of a sentence?

As in the following: A common proverb is: “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” A common proverb is: “A rolling stone gathers no moss”. A common proverb is: “A rolling stone gathers no ...
7
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2answers
1k views

When a question is followed by a bulleted list, where does the question mark go?

Where do I put the question mark when I want to ask about a list of items? For example: Should we mention other books by Charles Dickens, such as: A Tale of Two Cities: a novel describing ...
2
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3answers
4k views

When should single quotes be used? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What's the Difference in Usage Between Using Single and Two Quotation Marks/Inverted Commas? I know that they are used inside double quotes for a quotation within a ...
6
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1answer
2k views

Ellipses at the end of unfinished lists

After reading a question wrongly posted on programmers.SE and especially the post at PR Daily quoted in one of the answers, I have some doubts about the usage of ellipses. In French, ellipses are ...
0
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3answers
573 views

Which symbols can I use as shorthands to convey specific meanings?

For example, "/" (slash) can be used to mean "or" for two things that are interchangeable: I am taking my car/automobile to meet with my date/girlfriend. Are there other symbols like this that ...
6
votes
2answers
977 views

Understanding appositives and the use of the m-dash ( — )

My understanding of a dash is that it sets off a lengthy appositive, but can also be used to introduce a summary. Consider the following passage from Stephan Jay Gould: If evolution worked ...
11
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4answers
4k views

Should there be a period after an equation?

This isn't a pure English question, but it is about writing style: Sometimes entities that aren't words end up being in sentences. I know that when mathematical expressions are inline as follows: ...
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4answers
10k views

Is it proper to use a colon followed immediately by a hyphen?

I have seen some writing where people have a list or a figure in writing and they will write something like this: The information is provided in Image 3:- Is that correct? Is this a British ...
8
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3answers
926 views

How do you punctuate elliptical constructions?

I have trouble punctuating elliptical constructions. Which of these is correct? Asterix defeated seven Romans; Obelix, three. Asterix defeated seven Romans, Obelix, three. Asterix ...
14
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3answers
107k views

Should I use a comma before “and” or “or”?

Is using a comma then an "and" or an "or" after it proper punctuation? Example: I fell over, and hurt my knee. Should I go, or not?
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5answers
80k views

When do we need to put a comma after “so”?

I noticed that most of the times when the conjunction "so" is used at the beginning of a sentence, it is followed by a comma: So, this gets published but the fact that it is inaccurate gets ...
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1answer
5k views

Does a comma have to be used before 'because'?

I have a big house because my parents are rich. I have a big house, because my parents are rich. Are there are some exceptions as well?
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1answer
353 views

Can a colon split a verb and the rest of the predicate? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Punctuation to introduce a list: comma vs. colon vs. nothing Is this use of a colon incorrect? I wrote an application whose features included: doing this, doing ...
5
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1answer
249 views

Is this dash correct?

I’m hoping someone can give me some feedback/advice on the dash below. The site also supports a mobile version that allows you to easily check whether a book is in your collection—a feature ...
4
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4answers
12k views

Standard format for phone numbers? [closed]

I've recently noticed a wider variety in how phone numbers are presented, both in print and online, specifically with regard to spacing & punctuation. Examples: +1 (555) 123 4567 +1 (555) ...
23
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5answers
73k views

“Do's” and “don'ts” or “do's” and “don't's”?

I am making a list to my children telling them what are some of the things they should do and shouldn't. Under one side is "do", and the other is "don't". Would I write "do's" and "don't's"? Cause ...
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votes
4answers
6k views

Placing a comma after a conditional statement

I've always had difficulties in figuring out where commas should be placed. For example, in a phrase containing a conditional statement, how should I write... If they don't arrive by noon, she'll ...
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7answers
17k views

Appropriate dash to use when attributing a quotation?

If I’m citing a poem or quotation, what kind of dash precedes the author’s name? Example: This Business of Printing; which I am heartily tired of, and repent I e’er attempted. . . .           ...
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0answers
8k views

Ending a sentence with an abbreviation [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Punctuation around abbreviations When a sentence ends with an abbreviation, should there be two periods or one? Welcome to ACME Inc. We are glad to have you on ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

When is it appropriate to use non-breaking spaces?

I started using non-breaking spaces between a number and a unit of measure (10_ft), and within a name (Dr._John_Smith). I like the "look" of using non-breaking spaces to prevent titles from wrapping, ...
10
votes
5answers
572 views

Are apostrophes actually needed?

I don't mean to make it grammatically correct I mean does English need them? I can't seem to find a use case other than it's "legacy" in English, but that is never a reason to keep something around. ...
2
votes
1answer
356 views

When did commas start appearing after conjunctions?

It seems to me that it's only lately (last 15 years?) that I've seen commas after "but", "and", and "or" in reputable sources (NY Times, etc.). I'm pretty certain this was anathema many decades ago. ...
22
votes
9answers
60k views

Using a comma before “but”

I was once told by an English professor that a comma should never be used before but in a sentence. For years, I have followed her advice but sometimes I just feel like it just needs to be there. On ...
11
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3answers
364 views

Does this sentence make proper use of the semicolon and colon?

I have the following sentence: Relationships once so convoluted and beyond me were now clear: Pain became love; betrayal, loyalty; nonchalance, care. What I'm trying to accomplish is list ...
1
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3answers
22k views

Double parentheses [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it acceptable to nest parentheses? Are you allowed to have parentheses within parentheses in English? Something like "(I did that because I wanted to (and the ...
4
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2answers
35k views

What is the name for this “…” punctuation? [closed]

When I am writing, and I want to leave something out, so that it gives an implied effect, I use this: ... What is it called?
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Post-hyphenation of split compound words

Assuming that these two words off-topic on-topic must be hyphenated, which of the punctuations in the following sentences is correct? (crucial part emphasized) Regardless of whether it ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Should “vice versa” be treated as an independent clause?

I know "vice versa" more or less means "conversely," but when it is used by itself, should it be punctuated as if it were an independent clause? Dogs don't like cats, and vice versa. or Dogs ...
23
votes
5answers
173k views

Should there always be a comma after “therefore”,“However” etc.?

Should you always type a comma after "therefore","however" etc. in the beginning of a sentence? Also, when these (and similar) words are used in the middle of a sentence, should there be a comma or ...
7
votes
2answers
9k views

What is the proper way of using triple dots and spaces before/after them?

... part of a sentence ... ...part of a sentence ... ... part of a sentence... Notice the spaces before/after the dots. Which usage is the correct one ?
5
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2answers
661 views

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray: “I wonder will you understand me?”

In The Picture of Dorian Gray, I came across the following passage, spoken by Basil Hallward: There is nothing that art cannot express, and I know that the work I have done since I met Dorian Gray ...
7
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5answers
1k views

Using the “ex” prefix on a multiple word subject

What is the proper way to use the "ex" prefix to more than one word? Examples: He is an ex-school bus driver. My ex baseball coach taught me. I am an ex-Fish and Game Warden. ...
7
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7answers
2k views

Correct comma use with “but” and “that”

Compare these 3 sentences: Both are based on librsync, but above that they behave quite differently. Both are based on librsync, but above that, they behave quite differently. Both are ...