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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1answer
184 views

Is a comma the correct punctuation in “Help a thief?”

Recently, one of my friends on Facebook posted this cartoon in which a police officer helps a thief in response to the exclamation "Help a thief!" The contention is that the victim should have used a ...
1
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1answer
131 views

What's this? What is it? Pronunciation constraints

Can anyone give a cogent, simply described explanation of why the verb BE in: What is it? ... doesn't seem to be able to be contracted with the subject: What's it? * Compare the sentences ...
62
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13answers
9k views

Why do sentences that start with “guess” end with a question mark?

To me, sentences that start with "Guess" are in the imperative mood, thus, should end with a period: Guess who's coming to town. Guess what we had for dinner last night. Why do a lot of ...
0
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3answers
62 views

Use of the word or in place of commas

In the following sentence, would you say that the word "or" is used the first 2 times instead of using commas? "If a Partner shall retire or die or become permanently disabled or incompetent he shall ...
3
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2answers
85 views

How to punctuate spoken dialog with multiple levels of nested clauses?

I'm trying to do an audio transcription (for fun—I'm a complete amateur at this) and struggling with how to punctuate this part. Could anyone please help? We've designed this around the functions of ...
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1answer
419 views

Punctuation following “My question is…” [duplicate]

Forgive me if this has been asked before (if it has been, I couldn't find it) What punctuation, if any, should I use after "My question is..."? For example, My question is why is ice so ...
1
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1answer
69 views

Proper usage of a comma?

I am currently proofreading a research paper for my literature class, and I was unsure if this is an acceptable use of a comma: Profound cultural and religious differences caused Smith to conclude ...
2
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1answer
37 views

Comma or no comma in reaffirmation of answer? “____ it is” or “____, it is”

Would sentence 3 get a comma or not? Carrie: What time do you want to get lunch? Corin: How about noon? Carrie: Noon, it is! OR Noon it is! In case it's not obvious, the intention of sentence 3 ...
0
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1answer
29 views

Question about punctuating the following sentence

Are the commas correct in the following sentence. In the essay A Plague of Tics, the author, David Sedaris, addresses the people who had to put up with his obsessive-compulsive behaviors when he was ...
0
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2answers
39 views

correct usage of the single quotation mark? [duplicate]

So I was reading a book one day and I saw this. He gave her the 'Shut up look' is that correct? And, if so why? btw it was not in bold in the book.
0
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1answer
97 views

Adjacent words with apostrophes to show possession [closed]

Is it correct to end adjacent words in 's to show possession? For example "My neighbour's dog's ball is always in my yard", or should it be "My neighbour dogs ball is always in my yard" or ...
-1
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1answer
31 views

How to use “then” as a modifier

Which would you use or expect to see? "Iggy accidently caught me in the eye when he was hugging a then friend, Howard Devoto." "Iggy accidently caught me in the eye when he was hugging a, then, ...
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2answers
107 views

“…and who knew?” or “…,and, who knew…” or “…, and who knew…”?

Maybe by joining that religion I'd be able to understand myself, and who knew? Maybe I'd find the meaning of life. Maybe by joining that religion I'd be able to understand myself, and, who ...
1
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1answer
48 views

Punctuation question: quotation marks around names in dialog?

If you refer to a name alone and not along with a person in dialog, do you put single quotation marks around it? E.g., "Yeah, I agree with you there. 'Jon' is pretty common, but the same could be ...
0
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2answers
155 views

“Scare quotes” and placement of question mark--inside or outside?

Consider the following sentence: Did you know you can donate "stuff"? "Stuff" in this case means "anything besides cash." It's the lead-in to an article informing users on a charity's website ...
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0answers
57 views

Is the usage of this semicolon correct? Should I replace it with a colon or dash?

I am getting ready to have my first tattoo and, as a fairly strict grammarian, I want to make sure that I get it right. I plan for the tattoo to look like the following, but I'm not totally sure about ...
2
votes
1answer
136 views

Correct Usage of Quotation Marks

I was told the other day that when writing a report, the first occurrence of a word should be in quotes and all further occurrences should not. When I asked whether there was a rule to which words ...
0
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2answers
82 views

Punctuating illustrating questions

I am writing an academic report and I am trying to figure out how to punctuate the following: The previous results cannot provide an answer to questions like, what is the probability of X given Y ...
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1answer
40 views

What is the rule for using a period on a game card?

For example: This appears on a card in a game: "Equipment worn by players on one hand to field baseballs." The answer appears immediately below it..."Mitt" Another example: "Black disk made of hard ...
1
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1answer
55 views

How does punctuation affect this clause in a sentence?

In this sentence: Parents and children, under the age of 18, that live in the same residence When punctuated this way, does the age restriction apply to both parents and children? I mean, ...
0
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3answers
535 views

I'm looking for the possessive of 'boss' [duplicate]

What is the possessive of boss; ie, how do you describe the son of the boss?
2
votes
1answer
122 views

How is the spelling of a hyphenated word read?

How is the spelling of a hyphenated word usually read out loud? For example, with "Anglo-Saxon", do we say: "It is spelt as ...
0
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0answers
50 views

double punctuation marks: one inside parenthesis and one outside

I don't seem to be able to find the answer I'm after so here is my question. Can I make a sentence and at the end of the sentence make a a startling comment in parenthesis ending with an exclamation ...
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3answers
89 views

Is it correct to place comma between successive adjectives?

When a noun has more than one adjective some time I see comma is used between them. Is it just an incorrect use of comma? e.g "Unwind by a nice hot bath" vs "Unwind by a nice, hot bath". Also "There ...
1
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1answer
91 views

“Just as clear as mud as ever” — proper grammar/usage

A co-worker asked,"How's it going?" to which I replied, Oh, it's just as clear as mud as ever! The context for this is regarding client requirements convolution. The requirements are still ...
0
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3answers
418 views

Comma(s) when starting a sentence with both an introductory element and participial clause [duplicate]

If a sentence is starting with both an introductory element and a participial clause, where do I need to set the comma(s) appropriately? Consider the following versions of an example sentence: ...
39
votes
6answers
4k views

“For all it's worth” or “for all its worth”?

Should I put an apostrophe in "for all its worth"? The meaning comes to about the same thing either way, as far as I can make out, and it seems like "it's" is more popular. But is there an accepted ...
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votes
4answers
1k views

Do I need to put a comma before every “because”? [closed]

I am correcting a document and was told that I have to put a comma before every occurrence of “because” mid-sentence. Example: This might be because another algorithm was chosen. The ...
0
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1answer
62 views

Quoting lyrics or lines of poetry [duplicate]

When quoting a lyric or line of poetry in running prose, should the original capitalisation be preserved?
3
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2answers
195 views

What is a thorpe?

# is an octothorpe * is a hexathorpe + a quadrathorpe - a duothorpe but What is a thorpe??? This question came from an argument in comments on stackoverflow that started over an American calling ...
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2answers
63 views

Use of dash or comma in bulleted list?

I have been charged with taking over a monthly prayer letter which had been managed by several different staff members. Each had a different way of handling a bulleted list. One used a dash while the ...
0
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3answers
194 views

“Big black eyes” vs. “big and black eyes” [duplicate]

I've heard many people say "big black eyes," and I'm curious whether or not we must put an and in-between big and black. To me, since big and black are describing eyes, it is necessary to put an and ...
3
votes
2answers
78 views

What is the best way to forcefully say each word in a sentence.

Here is the example that I have: "Mother," I said with clenched teeth, "I said I don't want to talk about it." Now, I'd like to express the fact that each word in the second part of the ...
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votes
1answer
296 views

Can we use the abbreviation “etc” without a period/full stop?

Throughout Practical English Usage 3rd Edition (Swan, 2005), the author writes etc in a manner I can't help but wonder if it's a typo. Much/far/a lot etc more money Many/far/a lot etc ...
0
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1answer
107 views

“like many others” indicates/points to which part of the sentence?

In the following sentence- As I love to read, like many others, a desire for writing grew inside me. the part "like many others" indicates/points to which part of the sentence? i.e. to "As I ...
1
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1answer
39 views

How should I punctuate the “Shocked” line from Casablanca?

I'm writing something that mimics the famous "Shocked" line from Casablanca, but I can't find a good way to punctuate the phrase without it looking odd. Any ideas please? I'm shocked, shocked, ...
0
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1answer
90 views

“Respect, where has it gone?” vs “Respect. Where has it gone?”

We are using the following topic for a speech contest and there is a question as to punctuation Respect, where has it gone? or Respect. Where has it gone?
3
votes
2answers
144 views

Proper Punctuation for “Over” in Radio Communication

Given the statement "Vickery to Crann, Over" as radio communication, and knowing that over, as a radio procedure, is used to request a response from the person/group in which the radio procedure had ...
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2answers
133 views

Is this sentence structure correct? I catch myself using this structure a lot [closed]

This is a line from a story I'm writing: "The blanket had been peeled back, revealing imprints of recent slumber." Is this correct or should I make another sentence for the second clause?
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Comma placement between two clauses

Based on my research, #2 is most correct, with two independent clauses separated by the "and". For some reason, a pause after "and" SOUNDS better to me. Is one of these correct and the others ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

Should I use a colon or semicolon?

Which of the following punctuations is more appropriate? Strict liability serves to uphold the rights of individuals: in this case, the rights of the neighbor to the security of his property. or ...
1
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2answers
136 views

Apostrophe with Singular Proper Noun made up on Plural Word [duplicate]

I'm normally pretty confident with my punctuation, but this one has been stumping me, and it's probably because I don't know the proper phrasing for what I'm trying to ask: How to we add a possessive ...
0
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0answers
23 views

Why add extra space between a word and punctuation (e.g. a period, question mark, etc.)? [duplicate]

I was just wondering this because of noticing a lot of people I've worked with typed this way. Examples: Okay, that's great . Thanks, Stephanie . Was there anything else ? I was wondering if ...
1
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1answer
79 views

Punctuation for a compound question

What is the proper punctuation for the following? Have you heard, I like chocolate ice cream (?) (.) Should it be two separate sentences? Have you heard? I like chocolate ice cream. Is there a ...
0
votes
1answer
364 views

If the article title ends in closing punctuation, do we still add a period in an APA reference? [closed]

I have a question about citing a reference in APA format. The following reference was created by one of the members of my school group for a paper we are working on (let's just dismiss indentation on ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Punctuation between clauses when the first clause is a series

I have this sentence: Even if I seem too busy, or you made a mistake, or someone we care about will be upset, or you feel embarrassed, if anything bothers you, I want to know. I believe that ...
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2answers
124 views

How should one punctuate “upper right most”?

For upper right most, I’ve seen it written upper-right most, upper-right-most, and with no hyphens at all. What makes the most sense to me is upper rightmost, but it’s hard to tell that upper right ...
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3answers
142 views

Is “Are” always used with plural verbs/nouns? [duplicate]

Examples: There's six seasons, dude. Wouldn't it be: There're six seasons, dude. We are talking about multiple items; six seasons. If we refer to multiple items, we should use "Are" in ...
2
votes
2answers
101 views

Questions becoming statements [duplicate]

Sometimes there is an interesting effect when you convert a question into a statement, though this does seem somewhat modern. For example, What the heck. as opposed to What the heck? or ...
0
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2answers
48 views

Proper Names Functioning as Adjectives

To me, "California," "New Jersey," "Texas," "N.Y.," and "1969" are functioning as appositives in the examples below, when in fact they are not. All these words are essential information to the ...