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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Comma between attribute tuples [closed]

Consider the following sample sentence: Peter is pretty tolerant and mostly good-humoured, free-spirited and good to talk to. I want to say that Peter has all four attributes ("tolerant", ...
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4answers
53 views

Can “… and have been …” be replaced by “…, having been …”?

"I'm an enthusiastic learner and have been partaking in various scientific events." If I'd like to replace the "and" with a comma, is the following new sentence consider correct? "I'm an ...
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254 views

“built-in to the library”: hyphen or no hyphen

http://web.mit.edu/galib/www/FeatureList.html says, "You can use the types built-in to the library (bit-string, array, list, tree) or derive a chromosome based on your own objects." I've sometimes ...
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3answers
61 views

how should several “and”s without any punctuation be understood?

How should this long sentence with multiple "and"s Property taxes and other local taxes and state taxation and spending may not be ... . be understood? Notice, there is no punctuation near the ...
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2answers
874 views

How to pluralize a last name like Thomas [duplicate]

If I am addressing a card to multiple family members with the last name Thomas, is the correct spelling Thomas's or Thomas'?
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1answer
72 views

How would I punctuate/capitalize quotes without speaker tags? [closed]

If I have a sentence like this: Statements such as "It's not a problem," or "It's no big deal" are unrealistic. How exactly should I punctuate it? Would I capitalize the I in "it's"? Does the ...
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4answers
592 views

What is the origin of the phrase “bullet points”?

In particular, was the expression coined by a single individual or is it attributed to a document? The only thing I've been able to find was a non-cited reference to its origins in the 19th century ...
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1answer
51 views

What’s the correction punctuation in “dwelled on why that happened; would it happen again?”

The title is a variation of the following example. Should there be a question-mark before semicolon? the part after semicolon is also part of the dwelling. should the punctuation be different? He ...
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2answers
79 views

Comma usage: City and State / Full Date [duplicate]

Can we eliminate the comma after "2014" and "Indiana" below? The year and state are not parenthetical, and besides, the comma slows down the flow of the sentence. I think the two sentences below are ...
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1answer
58 views

Using co-ordinating conjunctions

My question is about the following sentence. Punctuation omitted. If the man comes back and I am home I will arrest him In the sentence there is one dependent subordinate clause and two ...
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2answers
488 views

Is it correct to use comma before and after the word 'actually' in the following sentence?

So, the sentence is: I think we are all looking for an answer from someone who, actually, is a Hawking's student, at least I am. I want to emphasize on the word 'actually' because someone who is ...
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1answer
25 views

Punctuation of a Process

How would you punctuate this sentence? I watched the conversion of goods into packages into services then into profits.
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1answer
55 views

Comma splice question

is the following a comma splice? The more important idea belongs in the main clause, the less important in the clause introduced by the subordinate conjunction. I know the first part before the ...
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2answers
57 views

Is it correct to use a semi-colon or a colon in this sentence?

Would it be better to use a colon or semi-colon in the following sentence: That being said, the ontological argument fails to do what it intends; it does not prove the existence of God a priori. ...
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1answer
119 views

correctly dotting the “i”s and crossing the “t”s in the expression “dotting the i's and crossing the t's” [duplicate]

I've found questions here at ELU related to the meaning of the expression (I'm clear on that), but this is about the best way to punctuate the expression in the title. Possibilities: a. It's ...
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0answers
19 views

Punctuation with complete or incomplete list of items [duplicate]

Here's a situation: John, Anne, Jake, Pete...they are all from the same class. Is there any way to punctuate this sentence without using the ellipsis? Is an "and" necessary before the last item ...
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1answer
113 views

What does the dash (“—”) in this sentence do? [duplicate]

Does "–" between methods and documenting have any function in this sentence? What is it trying to say? Moreover, multi-lingual texts, like vernacular works, have traditionally had strong ...
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3answers
77 views

Comma usage when a question appears at the end of a quotation, at the end of a subordinate clause

What would be the correct way to punctuate the following sentence? Rather than thinking, "am I being a jerk?", Johann cut to the front of the line, as he did every Tuesday.
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1answer
116 views

What is the correct punctuation to use in the following complex sentence?

Understanding this sentence does, of course, rely heavily on the contextual information provided by my essay. However, I am unsure if I have punctuated this sentence correctly or at all in the right ...
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3answers
2k views

Why is “like” as in Facebook likes often put between quotes?

I often see people use the noun with quotes: We have received a lot of "likes." rather than: We have received a lot of likes. Why is this done?
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0answers
46 views

Capitalization after ellipsis

Although there does exist a related question on SE, it doesn't exactly address my issue. What that question asks if the first letter should be capitalized after an ellipsis. I have the same question ...
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1answer
91 views

Capitalization in direct speech without quotation marks

My question has been largely answered in the discussion linked to below. However, one question remains: in mid-sentence hypothetical direct speech without quotation marks, what is preferable ...
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2answers
544 views

Should a semicolon precede an adverb that does not separate two independent clauses?

The sentence I wrote is as follows: The idea behind this technique was that the human eye could not differentiate between the individual colors of each point, thereby causing the eye to blend the ...
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2answers
69 views

Comma in “Hello Michael” [duplicate]

Should comma be used in sentences like "Hello, Michael" / "Hello Michael" ? For example, there is a wikipedia article Hello, sailor (with comma), but it mentions two different books, a band, and two ...
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1answer
64 views

“Knows an awful lot about the Dark Arts, Snape”

He teaches Potions, but he doesn't want to—everyone knows he's after Quirrell's job. Knows an awful lot about the Dark Arts, Snape. From time to time I stumble upon this type of speech with ...
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37 views

Multiple types of items in parenthesis, abbreviation + reference

In a sentence how do you correctly use punctuate both an abbreviation and a reference within the same parentheses? The Carbon Footprint of imports (CFi, table 1)..
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585 views

Is “Helper Verb” Old School?

My dilemma is that most of my grammar knowledge goes back a half century, and I want to give current and up to date advice to new English language learners. The opening sentence of this post shows an ...
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1answer
46 views

Spaces within abbreviations and initials

I have come across examples supporting both spaced as well as non-spaced examples and that's what confuses me. I want to understand what the standard practice is as endorsed by any of the major style ...
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2answers
74 views

“5-min” video vs “5 min” video vs “5min” video

Example: Paul and Jake discuss the Frame Timing API in this 5-min video: … Which character (if any) should be put between the number and the word “min”?
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38 views

What is the proper punctuation?

Is the following punctuation usage correct? To Jim it was a mystery; to Jane, a revelation.
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80 views

Multiple instances of the same (foreign) word

Consider the following snippet: The Spanish word lágrima comes from Latin lacrima which also has a descendant in English. When you cry, your eyes get their tears from special glands known as ...
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2answers
71 views

Comma usage while explaining a single word

Consider the following sentence: The French word entrailles means inward. Is it advisable to surround entrailles with commas in this case like this? The French word, entrailles, means inward. Or ...
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0answers
11 views

What is the name for this punctuation combination: “?!” [duplicate]

I can't believe this; Is it actually a true story?!
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1answer
85 views

How to indicate omitted punctuation?

I signaled that I removed a comma here by <s>,</s> (which shows as  , ) but what's the official manner or practice? I don't want to use an ellipsis, because it might confuse and ...
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1answer
130 views

Should there be a comma in “You again?”?

The original sentence is: You again? In which, I am wondering if I should insert a comma after "You": You, again? Which one is more correct, and why?
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3answers
105 views

poetic effect of segmentation of a group of words

Some poems break a sentence or a clause into two lines at the middle of one meaning group of words, like - ... a blue sky and ... What effect such an irregular line break has? Mr. Garrison ...
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2answers
159 views

Number of dots in an ellipsis

It might be an odd question, but I'm trying to comprehend why do we use three dots in an ellipsis. Wouldn't two dots suffice? An ellipsis serves a dual purpose, it can be used to either denote an ...
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210 views

Does this sentence require a comma somewhere?

Mark Twain understood that lampooning a bad idea with humor was the most effective criticism. I just can't help but feel there's a comma in there somewhere, but I can't figure it out!!
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84 views

Should I use comma, or dashes, or braces here?

Should I enclose 'red and blue' inside comma, or dashes, or braces? He spent several days wandering and collecting flowers (red and blue), and analyzed the results to prove his point. OR ...
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2answers
175 views

Is there a word that describes 'the study of punctuation'?

I am thinking about this in a non-grammatical, non-paleographic, and non-linguistic sense, although I am aware punctuation is studied as part of all these (and other) fields. I am interested in ...
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1answer
90 views

When to use Comma before coordinating conjunctions?

So I understand that serial comma (the one used before and/or) is used only when we have 3 or more items to be separated using and/or. What exactly is the rule that governs where to add comma before ...
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3answers
70 views

Two periods required?

When a sentence ends with a parenthetical statement which itself ends with a period, does the sentence also need a period? Example: I love eating vegetables (carrots, peas, etc.). The two ...
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1answer
76 views

Comma vs ellipsis in formal writing

Which of the following is the most acceptable construction in formal written English: Think of words like sin, din, bin...the list goes on. Think of words like sin, din, bin, the list goes on. Think ...
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1answer
96 views

Use of a hyphen with the word “based”

I'm checking a technical paper submission and came across the phrase We propose spherical Gaussian based approximations to calculate this analytically. and wondering if this needs a ...
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1answer
86 views

Punctuation for referring to a question

Is either of these an incorrect or nonstandard way to refer to a question mid sentence? Or are both of them okay? Our experiment set out to answer the question; is running fruit under water an ...
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1answer
88 views

Colon or semicolon?

We need help with colons and semicolons - and we need the definitive answer here, with examples. Here is my example: There is hardly any reason to be happy in the DPRK: the people are the most ...
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3answers
74 views

Period with quotes and double quotes

Consider the following sentences: Long ago, "fuego" started with an "h" instead of "f". There is connection between the words, "bishop" and "episcopal". Is the period used correctly after the ...
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1answer
32 views

Comma usage dilemma

What I want to say is that the church would be your hospital, the holy water would be your medicine, and the priest would be your doctor. But since "would be" seems too overused and redundant in the ...
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1answer
530 views

Hello [Comma?] John,

I have a follow up question to this question: Should you use a comma/period after "Thanks"/"Regards" in email signatures? My question is: when should you add a comma when starting ...
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1answer
64 views

Should there be a colon before a title?

Which of the following sentences has been punctuated correctly: This recommendation is based on a European guideline: Managing Neuropathic Pain. This recommendation is based on a European ...