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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Using an unrelated “too” before an infinitive

I came across the following in a children's textbook about Japanese: [Ninja] did not have magic powers but they did have [discipline, determination and daring] ... These attributes will help you ...
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2answers
3k views

Proper Apostrophe Usage with Initialisms: CCS' or CCS's?

I work with a company whose name is frequently reduced to an initialism (acronym). Let's say the name is "Cool Computer Systems" (CCS). I am engaged in an ongoing, bloody battle with the marketing ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Comma before “and”

I read this sentence on an educational website: Now times have changed and you are ready for situations involving forces in two dimensions. Shouldn't there be a comma before and, since the ...
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2answers
1k views

Using a comma — or other punctuation — at the start of a line

I was always told that, when writing on a page, you should always make sure never to start a new line with a comma. E.g. The man was tired , so he went to bed. Is this an actual rule, or ...
3
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3answers
266 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 ...
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5answers
3k views

What do you do when a sentence ends with a decimal?

In a sentence like "The answer is 0.8." the period looks awkward after "0.8". Is there a rule for a situation like this? Sometimes I put a space before the period like this: "The answer is 0.8 ." ...
3
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2answers
774 views

What is the correct way to punctuate sentences that end with proper nouns who also contain punctuation? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to handle a name that includes an exclamation point (or other punctuation)? Pardon the example usage, but given a proper noun that contains punctuation (e.g., the ...
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2answers
2k views

Using exclamation points as part of a brand name [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to handle a name that includes an exclamation point (or other punctuation)? I am editing a text about a product whose name contains an exclamation point as the final ...
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6answers
8k views

Am I misusing the semicolon?

Is the semicolon in the following sentence misused? How can I miss you; we've never met? I feel that the sentence, to be grammatically correct, must be split into its individual parts.
7
votes
3answers
410 views

Punctuation of an exclamative question

What is the proper way of writing an exclamative question: What are you doing!? What are you doing?! or is it better to just leave it as a simple question?
3
votes
2answers
116 views

HTTP-port or HTTP port?

Should I use dash in a port name, e.g. http-port, ftp-port, or it's more correct to omit the dash, like "http port", "ftp port"?
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vote
1answer
14k views

Where should I put the commas in a sentence containing “as well as”?

What is the proper way to punctuate a sentence containing "as well as"? For example, in the sentence: I hope to provide students with a solid foundation in the field as well as challenge them ...
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2answers
1k views

Do I need an apostrophe in “These trees’ roots”?

Do I need an apostrophe in "These trees’ roots"? For example, "Wow!!! These trees' roots are so long!" In this example the speaker can see both roots and the trees themselves.
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4answers
5k views

What is the best way to mention a word: italics, quotes, or single-quotes (apostrophes)?

If I want to mention the word "furlong", for example, should I use furlong, "furlong", or 'furlong'? Also, am I correct in putting the punctuation outside the quotes?
4
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1answer
848 views

Use of a comma within a descriptive phrase

In the sentence "Their work involves commercial solar heating systems," should there be a comma after the word "commercial"? These are solar heating systems for commercial use as opposed to private ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Should “pseudo” words be hyphenated?

While this question talks about the meaning of the word "pseudo", I'm wondering what the rules are for hyphenating words that start with this prefix. For example, would it be correct to call ...
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3answers
2k views

Using hyphenated words in technical writing?

I always get confused when using hyphenated words in my research papers. Is there any specific rule for using hyphenated words? For example, which one of the following is the correct usage of co ...
3
votes
5answers
19k views

Correct punctuation in company names

My father's company is named the following: Xyz Trading Co. (L.L.C.) I find the use of periods excessive, at the abbreviation of company and the last period in the parenthesis. Is it ...
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2answers
6k views

Is there a proper name for the 3 asterisks that are used to suggest temporal discontinuity?

For example, when some long prose passage ends, this appears: * * * Then some new prose passage begins. The three asterisks dividing the two prose sections are understood to divide the two ...
0
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3answers
469 views

Why do we use '/' sign as a representation of 'or'?

Imagine that you want to write something about colors and you know that red or blue would work in that context. How do you write that? I've seen these styles: Red or blue Red, or blue Red/blue Why ...
10
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1answer
636 views

Can a hyphen be used without anything on the right side?

From this page: [...] in early parts of this century when it was the most user- and hardware-friendly Linux operating system available [...] Is the user- fragment valid (outside this ...
10
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1answer
2k views

Past tense of the verb “FedEx”

How do I write the past tense of FedEx? For example: I FedEx'd the package to you yesterday. I Fedexd the package to you yesterday. I FedEx-d the package to you yesterday. I am ...
4
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3answers
6k views

How do I punctuate a question within a statement?

What is the proper way to punctuate a question that is posed within a statement like in the following example? Associated with my interest in the patterns that structure aquatic ecosystems is the ...
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1answer
3k views

Should I use a question mark when the second independent clause of my sentence is not a question?

Is it appropriate to use a question mark at the end of a compound sentence where the first independent clause is a question but the second is a statement? For example: Do you want attribution for ...
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2answers
1k views

Hyphenation in compound adjectives [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: To hyphenate or not? When is it necessary to use a hyphen in writing a compound word? When is it appropriate to use a hyphen? In the sentence "Portland is known to ...
2
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1answer
2k views

Punctuation in presentation slides

I am creating a presentation of slides to be used with a projector. Most of the slides contain lists of incomplete sentences so as to not clutter them up with too much text and overwhelm the audience. ...
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3answers
600 views

Pronunciation of “#winning”

How do you pronounce #winning aloud? Would it be hashtag winning, hash winning, pound winning, winning or something else? This goes for all hashtags.
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5answers
256 views

Should there be a comma or a colon here?

His latest album is Foo featuring his band, Bar. His latest album is Foo featuring his band: Bar. Which is the more appropriate way to punctuate the sentence?
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2answers
573 views

Is “Sent from my iPhone” correctly punctuated and capitalized?

I'm sure everyone has seen this phrase at the bottom of many e-mail messages. My question is about the combination of punctuation and capitalization. The capitalization of the first word makes me ...
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votes
3answers
2k views

Proper punctuation for joining pro-sentence with independent clause

I recently said the following in chat: Do you mean 90 cents, or 9 cents? 90 cents. Okay, you left out the zero so I wasn't sure. Afterwards it occurred to me I could have replaced the comma ...
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4answers
2k views

Writing large percentages

So, I have a reason to display percentages in the thousands and greater 1000%, 20000%, etc should they be written with or without thousand separators? 1,000%, 20,000%, etc I have been Googling and ...
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2answers
316 views

Question mark(s) when asking about a quoted query [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Quoting a question at the end of a sentence which is itself a question Although some might say you can't say a question, only ask it, I assume I can say (write)... ...
2
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2answers
729 views

Indenting Lettrines or Drop Caps [closed]

A lettrine or drop cap is a large initial letter (usually with some illustration) at the start of a chapter in a book. In the English language, which is preferable: "lettrine" or "drop cap"? ...
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3answers
3k views

Quoting a question at the end of a sentence which is itself a question

If my sentence is a question and ends with a quote of a question, where exactly do I put a question mark? Did she ask, "Is it raining"? Did she ask, "Is it raining?"? Did she ask, "Is it ...
3
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2answers
528 views

When writing instructions, is it OK to leave “and” out of a quick chain of commands?

I'm editing a series of instructions, and I keep stumbling over this issue of whether using "and" in a chain of similar commands is necessary. From the Start menu, select All Programs, then ...
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7answers
13k views

Using a question mark mid-sentence

May I use a question mark in the middle of a sentence? Examples: Would you like the drapes to be white? or perhaps something off-white? Would you like the logo to be centered? at the bottom? ...
0
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1answer
172 views

Should “A-Player” Be Hyphenated?

Stupid term, but still: Is it hyphenated or not? Bob was really happy to have hired Alice; she was an 'A-Player' from the world of private equity and would add a lot to the firm.
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2answers
415 views

How to join the conclusion to the sentence?

I am in the process of creating a post on one of the other Stackexchange sites, and I came across something I've been wanting to ask for a while: When I VPN to work from my Windows desktop, I ...
5
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1answer
7k views

Apostrophe vs. Single Quote

What is the semantic difference between apostrophe and single quote? I see people use both of them interchangeably, but people never create two words to denote one concept. There should be a ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

What does “)))” mean at the end of a sentence? [closed]

Someone I know keeps ending their chat messages with ))): A: Except if you're not good at jokes B: Then you can still copy jokes from others.))) I assume that this isn't some newfangled ...
4
votes
1answer
580 views

What’s the usage of apostrophes in “ ‘Bye, ‘bye ”?

I’d like to know what effect an apostrophe has which is before a word and doesn’t work as an omitter. (Not like C’mon or ‘Course, but like ‘bye, ‘bye.) I have three questions as follows, but any ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Should a period be placed within quotation marks if it would conflict with a punctuated item that should be used or typed verbatim?

Gee whiz! Just when I thought I had the "period within quotation marks" rules set firmly in my personal punctuational code, I hit upon this sentence: All message IDs are pre-pended with the value ...
0
votes
0answers
72 views

Comma usage for multiple words [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Comma before last item in a list Is it correct to write: a,b, or c a,b, and c Is the comma used after b correct?
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votes
5answers
7k views

When is it appropriate to end a question without a question mark?

Basically, if I ask a rhetorical question, it's not really prompting for an answer. Does that mean it should not end in a question mark? Here are two examples: "What's New" used as a title for a ...
2
votes
1answer
149 views

Correctly using a semicolon? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How does one correctly use a semicolon? I was wondering if the following was the correct usage of a semicolon or if a comma is more apt for this use. Well, have we ...
2
votes
2answers
295 views

Usage of a comma in a dedication

Does the dedication "To my beloved John" need a comma after "beloved"?
3
votes
3answers
4k 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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vote
3answers
5k 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.
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1answer
154 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
146 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”