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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A question of informal punctuation: How do you correctly end a sentence with 'haha'?

What is the best way to end an informal sentence (such as a text or over Facebook chat) with haha? Consider the following options: It's always bugged me haha It's always bugged me haha. ...
14
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5answers
63k views

Placement of comma before quotation mark

What is the rule for comma placement before a quotation mark? When should the comma go before and when should it go after the quotation mark?
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0answers
136 views

If parentheses close the sentence, where should period be? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: In which cases is a comma/period placed inside or outside of parentheses? Consider the following sentence: Now, it is highly attributable that professionally I never ...
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3answers
247 views

Is “ .. the war on drugs has not, and cannot, be won.” correctly punctuated?

The quote in the title of this post is an extract from the official report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, authored among others by Kofi Annan. To me the comma is clearly misplaced. But is ...
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3answers
2k views

Should it be “one”, “ones” or “one's” in a company's slogan?

I saw a tow truck with a slogan running the length of the bed. Were the "ones" to call What drew my attention was the past tense without an apostrophe, and the inappropriate use of quotation ...
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1answer
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What is the correct punctuation when quoting a question in the middle of a larger sentence?

There are several questions here on quoting a question within a sentence, but most of them deal with the quote being at the end of the larger sentence. What if it's in the middle? In many ...
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4answers
1k views

Use of dash in a sentence

Is the dash an acceptable punctuation in this sentence? Dances, parties, luncheons -- all these should be part of your senior year.
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2answers
280 views

Is this a correct use for semicolons?

Is this sentence punctuated correctly? Not only am I a wife, but a mother; not only a daughter, but a sister; not only a coworker, but a friend.
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5answers
3k views

How to punctuate a quoted question within a question?

How would I punctuate the bold portion? "Who are you?" she asked. "Wait," I replied, "did you just ask me Who are you?" I would use the following: "Wait," I replied, "did you just ask ...
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2answers
6k views

Comma placement when using quotes that end with a question mark [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I punctuate around quotes? I've been writing a letter to an editor, and one line of my response reads: In your article "What Makes Free Will Free?" you ...
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1answer
508 views

(I'm not sure) how to capitalize this sentence

When a sentence begins with a parenthetical clause (uncommon, I'm sure), how should the following portion be capitalized? My thought is it would be either (In my opinion, at least[,]) the play was ...
9
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2answers
794 views

Multiple hyphens in a word

Is it allowed to have multiple hyphens in one word? I want to use the word semi-self-sustaining in the sentence However, the ability to produce semi-self-sustaining stations is possessed by up ...
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2answers
630 views

Punctuating “etc.” after a series of questions

How should I terminally punctuate etc. when it's used at the end of a series of questions? How's your brother? Did you get the job? Are you feeling better? Etc.? Is this right, or do I use a ...
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2answers
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First usage of parentheses or brackets ( and )

I have found several sources (Wikipedia, Eats Shoots & Leaves) that claim Erasmus was the first person to use parentheses (also known as brackets). He supposedly called them lunulae (because they ...
5
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1answer
397 views

What is the significance of the “ô” character in “rôle” in this work?

In this document from 1916, on the last line of the first page is the word rôle. If context matters, the entire sentence is: As might readily be supposed, the control of the lactic acid ...
6
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3answers
534 views

Should there be a comma in “Tell <name> <other name> says hi.”?

I just wrote to someone, Tell Alivia Wyatt says hi. Am I missing a comma? It seems like there almost has to be one between the names. I find it a strange sentence to punctuate.
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1answer
161 views

Can I place a sentence between em-dashes? Do I put a period?

Can I place a sentence between em-dashes? If I can, should I put a period, or not?
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2answers
755 views

Commas around “which”

I was talking about a new logo with a friend and I asked him why there's so much white. He told me that it's not white, he just doesn't know what colour will it be. I replied: Then use transparent ...
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1answer
315 views

Quotes and Punctuation [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it ever acceptable for a period to come after a quote at the end of a sentence? How should I punctuate around quotes? I graduated with an English Major from Radford ...
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4answers
7k views

'Plus, …' or 'Plus …'

I've a sentence structured as below for a leaflet: Fill in the survey and you can win x! Plus, a chance to be entered into a draw to win y! I typed this sentence and I just naturally added a ...
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1answer
649 views

Punctuating a Sentence Containing a Question

If a sentence contains a complete question, but ends with a statement, should it be punctuated with a question mark? Example: Could she go to the store, he wondered
6
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3answers
905 views

Should I use a question mark at the end of a question fragment? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “How to […]?” and “Where to […]?” Questions that are not questions. Is this defensible? Does it make sense, grammatically, to end ...
3
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2answers
225 views

What is the preferred way to write this type of sentence?

Sally (the mayors daughter) donated to the Salvation Army yesterday. or Sally, the mayors daughter, donated to the Salvation Army yesterday.
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1answer
629 views

How to quote multiple lines of verse inline

When quoting multiple lines of verse inline, is it proper to put spaces around the slash? For example, with a slash but no spaces: "Beside the lake, beneath the trees/Fluttering and dancing in the ...
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3answers
2k views

Is an ellipsis interchangeable with an em dash?

I know than an ellipsis can be used to show a broken sentence, the same way an em dash can be used. What I don't know is that if the two are interchangeable and it is writer preference or if different ...
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1answer
193 views

What is the third 'quote' (inverted comma) called? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are these symbols called? ~ ` ^ Most of use are familiar with " and ' but what is the third ` (same key as ~ on a standard US keyboard) character called, and how ...
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3answers
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How do I refer to a word?

When writing, I sometimes want to refer to a word, as opposed to its meaning. For example: when correcting someone's grammar or semantics (there versus their), or when pointing out exemplary ...
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1answer
284 views

How to interpose cross references to sections in the presentation of an outline

In academic papers the introduction usually contains a description of the outline of the paper, i.e. a description of the structure of the paper, such as a description of what goes in what section. In ...
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2answers
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What is the correct syntax for a plural possessive of a word already ending in s? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in s? Before you vote to close as a duplicate, note that these two questions deal with similar issues to this, but none ...
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2answers
4k views

Can I use an ellipsis before a comma?

On a particular piece of dialogue and I wasn't sure if this was correct or just a matter of style. "[...] your shield, you don’t deserve..., nor how can I put into the line?” My question is the ...
2
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1answer
53 views

“n-degenerate” or “n degenerate”?

In physics, we say that something is "degenerate" when it exists in more than one "equivalent" versions. What is the proper form of saying that there are n versions of X -- that X is "n-degenerate" or ...
5
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2answers
992 views

What are these symbols called? ~ ` ^ [closed]

What can I call the following symbols? ~ ` ^
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1answer
193 views

Where to use “!”, “;”, “`” [closed]

Where should I use the following symbols while writing something in English language? ! — exclamation mark ; — semicolon ` — grave accent
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0answers
77 views

How to use commas in greetings [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where should the comma be placed in the salutation of a letter? I've noticed that most of Americans I interact with online have a tendency to begin their emails like ...
3
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3answers
169 views

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
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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 ...
0
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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3answers
267 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
797 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
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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 ...
11
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6answers
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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
414 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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1answer
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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
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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?
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1answer
870 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 ...
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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 ...