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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Spelling out numbers in written dialogue [closed]

I cannot locate accurate answers anywhere regarding these. My explanations are below each example. I believe that all examples may be correct but am unsure. I'm just looking for some confirmation. In ...
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2answers
72 views

Is there a comma in 'a 30-day, money-back guarantee'?

Do these take commas? I see it both ways, ie with and without commas. a 30-day, money-back guarantee a 60-day, no-risk obligation Thanks.
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1answer
49 views

Is the hyphen used in British publications in lieu of the em dash?

Is the hyphen used in British publications in lieu of the em dash? I've seen the hyphen used (in place of the dash) in 'The Guardian' and 'The BBC'. Is this okay to do? Would you ever use the hyphen ...
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3answers
78 views

3 Final Questions on BrE Punctuation … Proper Insertion of Commas (BBC) [closed]

I have three final questions regarding comma placements inside/outside the quote marks in BrE. The following are sentences that were excerpted from the BBC News. Separatism was a "serious threat", ...
2
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1answer
174 views

How to quote a paragraph with a missing sentence?

How do I indicate that I've removed an entire sentence from a quoted paragraph? Consider the example paragraph below - if I want to quote this paragraph without the emboldened sentence, how might I do ...
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2answers
45 views

Where would the commas go in a sentence like this?

That was especially detrimental to me, who desiring to become a professional athlete, always avoided eating those types of foods. When I try to look at what the main sentence is, it seems like it ...
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1answer
41 views

Can semicolon be used between interrupted quotations? [closed]

This is my last question for this week. Are both sentences punctuated correctly below? 'It cannot be done,' he said; 'we must give up the task.' (Can we use a semicolon after 'he said' above, and ...
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1answer
256 views

Hyphenate 'part-time' / 'full-time' as an adverb?

Would we hyphenate 'part-time' / 'full-time' as an adverb? 1. Joe worked part-time as a waiter and full-time as a computer programmer. (Can we omit the hyphens in these adverbial uses?) 2. Mike ...
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3answers
4k views

Is “in fact” always set off by commas mid-sentence?

Is "in fact" always set off by commas mid-sentence because it's a parenthetical interrupter? I see no need to use them. The only time we'd do so (I think) is with one comma after "in fact" when it ...
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3answers
271 views

Are “y”, “m”, and “d” the singular and plural abbreviations for “year(s)”, “month(s)”, and “day(s)”?

Are "y", "m", and "d" the singular and plural abbreviations for "year(s)", "month(s)", and "day(s)"? Examples: 1. The project took exactly 5y 2m 18d to complete. (If this is in fact correct, would ...
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2answers
3k views

Are “ins”, “hrs”, “mins” and “secs” the technically correct plural abbreviations for “inches”, “hours”, “minutes” and “seconds”?

Are "ins", "hrs", "mins" and "secs" the technically correct plural abbreviations for "inches", "hours", "minutes" and "seconds"? I'm hoping that all examples below could possibly be correct. ...
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1answer
88 views

Can the em dash replace both the semicolon and comma in these?

Can the em dash replace the comma and semicolon in these sentences? For example, instead of "The original sign did not have terminal punctuation; thus, the full stop goes outside the quotes to end the ...
2
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1answer
98 views

Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs

I am very much hoping that I have punctuated all of the following examples correctly per BrE punctuation. And I'm hoping that my bracketed explanations adequately and logically explain my reasoning to ...
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3answers
92 views

Formatting numbers in a book about mathematics

Would anyone be kind enough to point me to a reliable source (preferably on line) where I can find definitive answers to how to format numbers consistently within a book about maths aimed at popular ...
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1answer
40 views

Punctuation Query Regarding a Comma and a Parenthesis [closed]

On 24th January 2014 at about 10:25pm, I, John Doe (Loss Prevention Manager for the XYZ Corporation), interviewed and obtained an oral and a written confession from Patricia Schmoe (Cashier at XYZ ...
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1answer
206 views

Omitting the full stops after middle initials in BrE

In BrE style, can the full stops be omitted in: C. J. Harris (Charles James Harris) Can it be written like this? C J Harris And if we abbreviated just the middle initial, is the following ...
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1answer
163 views

Predicative Position of Adjectives: Do We Hyphenate after the Verb?

Do the words in the following sentences get hyphenated? She is old-fashioned. He was ill-at-ease. He is well-informed, well-read, well-educated, and well-known. He brought me up-to-date. ...
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1answer
156 views

The Interrupting Colon – ie a colon after a verb

I was taught that a colon never, ever follows a verb: it can follow only a complete sentence. Does anybody on this site support this type of usage? Can anybody provide links or examples of colons used ...
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1answer
1k views

Height and Weight — How to write them when abbreviations are not used

Height and Weight — How to write them when abbreviations are not used. He was a 6-foot 5-inch man. (Not: 6-foot-5-inch man, with three hyphens.) She gave birth to a 7-pound 11-ounce baby. (Not: ...
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2answers
74 views

Tag Question — Does it sometimes border upon a comma splice?

Tag Question — Does it sometimes border upon a comma splice? I think it looks nice, do you? (This is a comma splice, correct?) Shouldn't we technically use a period after "nice" in this sentence to ...
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2answers
401 views

Is “non-life-threatening” punctuated correctly with two hyphens?

The news reporter said, “The victim's injuries were non-life-threatening.” [Verbatim quote, so I cannot alter the wording to say "...were not life-threatening".] Is non-life-threatening correctly ...
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2answers
26 views

Should a comma be used before 'then' when it's the last word in a sentence?

Should a comma be used before 'then' when it's the last word in a sentence? •Bob said, "If she goes, I'm not going, then." The example below appears to be incorrect. •Bob said, "If she goes, I'm ...
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1answer
74 views

Should a comma, a semicolon, or a dash be used before 'trust me' at the end of a sentence?

For formal writing, which one is technically correct? I don't give a damn, trust me. (Is this a comma splice?) I don't give a damn; trust me. (Should a semicolon be used?) I don't give a damn — ...
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2answers
45 views

Should ‘Ground Zero’ (site of old World Trade Center) be capped in all references? [closed]

Should Ground Zero (site of old World Trade Center) be capitalised in all references?
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1answer
46 views

Should 'First Lady' be capped in all references? [closed]

Should First Lady be capped in all references? •I spoke with the First Lady, Michelle Obama. •Do you want to speak with the First Lady? •Former First Lady Barbara Bush attended the ceremony. And ...
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1answer
158 views

Do we add a full stop after an ellipsis at the end of a sentence? [closed]

Do we add a full stop after an ellipsis at the end of a sentence? eg ‘There is a problem...’.
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1answer
41 views

Can we eliminate the hyphens in these job descriptions? [closed]

Can I eliminate every single hyphen in the examples below? Or do they add readability? Joe said, "He applied for the assistant-store-manager-trainee position." Luella said, "Victor was assigned to ...
1
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1answer
214 views

Do we capitalize job titles after a person's name? [duplicate]

Should professional, occupational and official titles be capped after a person's name? Mike McCormack, Human Resources Director for the XYZ corporation, resigned on Friday. If we use the definite ...
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0answers
173 views

Comma before “respectively” — Is it needed? [duplicate]

Is the comma before "respectively" needed when "respectively" is the last word in a sentence? Garry, Michael and John scored 10, 26 and 18 points, respectively.
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0answers
34 views

Are the apostrophe placements correct in every example? [duplicate]

Are the apostrophe placements correct in every example? • two weeks' vacation • four days' personal time • three months' sabbatical time • ten nights' accommodations • three hours' sleep • eight ...
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2answers
90 views

Commas that are sentence flow-stoppers … Can I leave them out?

Is it acceptable in BrE to omit the commas (as I've done below) after 2006, 1946, France, Texas and New York? To me, commas after each serve no purpose: they reduce the flow of the sentence. • The ...
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1answer
47 views

L.A. vs NYC (punctuation)

After researching the internet for a while now, I am still not sure whether it is true that one abbreviates Los Angeles by L.A. but New York City by NYC. Is that true, if so, why the different ...
2
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2answers
184 views

Where do the commas and full stops go? [duplicate]

Do you agree with the punctuation in these examples? I'm using BrE style here. I like his sentence 'Be good to yourself and respect your elders.' (I say that the full stop goes inside the quote ...
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1answer
71 views

Units of Measurement Part II — Hours, Minutes and Seconds [closed]

Again, I prefer the brevity and concision of these examples. It was a 2hr 3min 4sec marathon. (Is this correct if we opted to abbreviate?) The Guardian and the BBC use this so I'm assuming it's okay. ...
2
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2answers
66 views

Comma in “The key objective is X, with the broader goal of Y”

The key objective of the declaration is to create guidelines, with the broader goal of facilitating international mobility of students. Are there any rules that govern the placement or ...
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3answers
144 views

The Swung Dash ~ Has Anybody Heard of It?

​Has anybody ever heard of the swung dash? Friends tell me that this is being used by writers in lieu of the dash. See examples below. Has anybody ever seen this usage? If so, is it new? You are the ...
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2answers
37 views

Is a comma still required between “said” and a quote if no one actually says anything?

For example He gave me a look that said "Don't you dare." Should a comma still be placed after said?
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43 views

In my example, can I use a comma before the word “thus”?

Graph 4 improves Graph 3 because it shows potentially similar outliers that occur at each birthday, thus this represents our best range of x.
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34 views

Associated Press Style with Monetary Ranges (Your Interpretation) [duplicate]

The AP Stylebook's FAQ accepts "a 30 to 35 percent a year increase" and "a 10-20 percent a year increase in revenues", one with the word "to" in the numerical range, and one with a hyphen. They also ...
1
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2answers
357 views

Single Quote Marks to Denote Plurals of Letters and Words [duplicate]

I heard that the plurals of letters, numbers and words could be punctuated - with single quote marks on both sides - in this manner (especially in Britain): 'X's 'd's '5's 'thank-you's 'maybe's ...
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1answer
115 views

Fragmented Quotes and Bracketed Ellipses

I had a question about the use of the bracketed ellipses with fragmented quotes. Below is an example from CMOS 16. Please refer to it. My question is at the bottom of this thread. I'm hoping you ...
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2answers
647 views

Punctuation of a question that ends with a statement

How would you punctuate this question, which ends as a statement: Where is Mom I need to talk to her
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3answers
104 views

Punctuation of “But you know, Bob, you, too, played an important role”

But you know, Bob, you, too, played an important role. Is this actually how one would punctuate this sentence? Given how commas work, I think this is correct, but it looks very bizarre.
1
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1answer
427 views

What is the proper hyphenation of “and a half” in the context of age? [duplicate]

I'm trying to write "3 and a half year old," as in, "He is a 3 and a half year old dog". I know a hyphen or two is supposed to go in there somewhere. Per Ways to write "2000 year old" , ...
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2answers
114 views

Placement of full stops and inverted commas (not a duplicate, per se)

Do you agree with my rationale below? This is with regard to British punctuation. The specificity of this particular question has not previously been posted. 'I need to visit the mall', said Aunt ...
2
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3answers
181 views

What are reasons to omit quotation marks in dialogue?

While writing a short memoir for a college course, I wrote the dialogue without quotation marks, the biggest reason being that I do not like how clunky it looks in Times New Roman. I do not mind it ...
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2answers
1k views

Is this sentence grammatical and punctuated correctly?

Does this sentence need to be broken up by a semi colon, conjuction, or a period? Is there a modifier error here as well? The peasants were the least free of all people, bound by tradition and ...
3
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2answers
112 views

Single Markers Used For Punctuation of Plurals

May I punctuate letters-as-letters and words-as-words in this manner (in lieu of italics)? The professor said that Joel used too many 'why's, 'like's, and 'whereas's in his essay. If we're using ...
2
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1answer
806 views

Would “mid-to-late” and “low-to-mid” hyphenated as compound modifiers?

Would "mid-to-late" and "low-to-mid" be hyphenated as compound modifiers? Examples: Temperatures are expected to be in the low-to-mid 60s. Joe, I think, is in his mid-to-late 80s. He was in his ...
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2answers
94 views

How would you punctuation this sentence?

How would you punctuate this sentence? If someone gives you a hard time about ending a sentence with a preposition, feel free to respond to the criticism, as Winston Churchill, according to ...