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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Which punctuation is correct?

Which of the following has the correct punctuation: Where this agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of, "does this Act go far enough?" Where this agreement usually ends, ...
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0answers
55 views

Not a duplicate - Different question altogether regarding comma placement inside/outside of quote marks in BE

From proofeditright.com: The exception to this rule is in UK English where the comma and full stop/period go inside for a complete quoted sentence; otherwise, they are placed outside (to show they ...
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4answers
292 views

Is it acceptable to use a single hyphen as a dash (as the BBC does)?

Is it acceptable to use a single hyphen as a dash (as the BBC does)? Example from BBC News: Venezuela - a major oil producer - has been heavily affected by the fall in oil prices on ...
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0answers
26 views

Quote Marks and Placement of Full Stop in British English [duplicate]

In British English, should the ending punctuation in the following example be ."' or ".' 1 or 2 below? (1) Jake said, 'I overheard Nancy say, "I am going to ask Marty for a divorce."' (2) Jake said, ...
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1answer
161 views

comma before “though” when ending a sentence — is it necessary?

Two Oxford dictionaries contradict each other (see below). In your opinion, is it necessary to use a comma before though when it ends a sentence? Oxford Dictionary of English I was hunting ...
2
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1answer
65 views

Ergative with Because [closed]

Are these punctuated correctly and is the parenthetical reasoning for each valid and sound? She's not running for class president, because she is scared. (= comma before "because" means she is not ...
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1answer
166 views

Comma after full date? [duplicate]

Is it okay to delete the comma after '1969' below ? Joe said, "February 7, 1969[,]is my date of birth."  And can we delete the comma after 'Indiana' and '2015' below? Lisa reported, "The Gary, ...
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1answer
56 views

punctuating more than one sentence within em dashes and parentheses midsentence

I cannot recast the following sentence. Is it punctuated correctly, i.e., the ending period, midsentence, before the second em dash? The department's philosophy -- When in doubt, let them out. ...
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0answers
10 views

… for the reaction to, and prevention of, waste, loss and theft. (Commas correct?) [duplicate]

Is the comma correct after "to" and after "of" as shown below? Should a serial comma be inserted after "loss"? I cannot rephrase. Herb is responsible for the reaction to, and prevention of, waste, ...
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1answer
31 views

Is it correct to use a comma in the following case?

The detectives couldn't help each other. Perhaps this "madness"—despite coming from the same source, investigating crime scenes—was different for each of them. I'm not sure whether the comma ...
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2answers
105 views

Should we use a comma, a semicolon or a dash before “trust me”?

Should we use a comma (as shown below), a semicolon or a dash before "trust me" in the first example below, and after "trust me" in the second example below? "I don't think he'll last another year ...
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2answers
65 views

joint venture agreements OR joint-venture agreements

Are there any issues hyphenating "joint venture" as a modifier? e.g., "joint-venture agreements" or "joint venture agreements"?
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0answers
12 views

Is this sentence punctuated properly--i.e., the question mark outside the ending quote? [duplicate]

Is this sentence punctuated properly--i.e., the question mark outside the ending quote (after the exclamation point)? Did she scream, "Go to hell!"?
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1answer
549 views

Thanks & Thank you followed by a comma or a period as a complimentary closing? [duplicate]

If we use the words "Thanks" or "Thank you" (on a line by itself) at the end of a correspondence -- in the absence of a complimentary closing (such as "Sincerely,") -- do we follow "Thanks" and "Thank ...
0
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3answers
85 views

Help me with punctuation, please! [closed]

How should one insert the punctuation in the text below: We were informed a complete set of dishes consists of these items cups saucers and plates bowls are not included.
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1answer
665 views

“mid” without a following hyphen in these words?

The Chicago Manual, 16th edition, says that "mid" is followed by a hyphen only if a capitalized word (mid-Atlantic) or a number (mid-1950s) follows. That said, I believe that all of the following ...
7
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2answers
669 views

Meaning of 'stabs-sick eyes'

From "Red Wind" by Raymond Chandler: He lowered them slowly and looked at the man on the floor. The man's neck was twitching a little. His eyes moved in short stabs-sick eyes. "Sure it's the ...
1
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1answer
209 views

The Copyeditor's Handbook says this is not a suspended compound [closed]

The Copyeditor's Handbook says: In a phrase like "ten-to-fifteen-minute traffic delays," the "ten to fifteen" constitutes a unit — an approximation of length of the backup — and it is therefore not ...
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3answers
211 views

Illegal Comma to Enhance Clarity [closed]

A while back, I coined a well-known InfoSec rule: AviD's Rule of Usability: "Security at the expense of usability, comes at the expense of security." Recently I received a comment pointing ...
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2answers
74 views

comma needed after conjunction 'and' that separates 2 independent clauses? [closed]

Do we need a comma after the conjunction "and" below? The umpire made a bad call, and, in the interest of fairness, he reversed his decision. I think that the following sentence is better with ...
0
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1answer
35 views

Do nonrestrictive appositives always require commas? [closed]

In the following example, I have one wife, one daughter and one son. (1) My wife, Angie; my son, Mike; and my daughter, Danielle, will be at the picnic. I think the semicolons are very technically ...
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2answers
69 views

Comma needed before a sentence-ending “then”?

Do I use a comma before "then" in this example? Joe said, "If she plans on going, I won't be there, then."
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1answer
57 views

Double quotes for plurals of words, letters and phrases

Are these within the realm of possibility -- that is, forming the plurals of letters, words, phrases, and numbers as I've done below? No suggestions for italicizing, please. "is"s, "as"s, "was"s, ...
3
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2answers
187 views

Do frequency adverbs that go at the beginning of sentence need a comma? (Occasionally, Sometimes, etc.)

Do frequency adverbs that go at the beginning of sentence need a comma? Which of these alternatives, if any, is better? Occasionally, I play football with my friends. Occasionally I play football ...
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2answers
89 views

Is the logical system of punctuation becoming more prevalent in the US? [closed]

Is the logical system of punctuation becoming more prevalent in the US with regard to the placement of periods and commas outside the quote marks? For example: This: He called me a 'purveyor of ...
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1answer
52 views

Is the hyphen required in this suspended compound?

Is the hyphen required after '$5 million' (followed by a single space) in this suspended compound? He owned a $5 million- to $10 million-a-year business. Is that impeccably punctuated? or should it ...
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0answers
22 views

Comma needed in 30-day, money-back guarantee? [duplicate]

Is a comma needed in the phrases '30-day, money-back guarantee' and '90-day, no-risk trial'? If so, why? If not, why not? I see them written both ways -- that is, with and without the comma -- but ...
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2answers
184 views

Why capitalize this word in the middle of the sentence?

I came across this sentence at http://www.thepunctuationguide.com/period.html. Why is "Does" capitalized? The question is, Does anyone support this legislation?
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1answer
126 views

soon-to-be ex-wife or soon-to-be-ex-wife

Is it: his 'soon-to-be ex-wife' or his 'soon-to-be-ex-wife'? Do we need that hyphen after the word 'be'? If so, why? If not, why not? And is it: 'his soon-to-be-ex' or 'his soon-to-be ex'? Thank ...
1
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1answer
38 views

Quoted Title Possessive

I am editing a story where the game show "Jeopardy!" is used as a possessive within a quote. Should I insert the 's within the single quotes around the name, such as 'Jeopardy!'s', or would the 's go ...
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1answer
106 views

When is it okay not to put a comma, where the rule may normally apply?

In this sentence: I will forward the log, when it is complete. Is it permissible to remove the comma? I will forward the log when it is complete. I thought sentences that are plain and can ...
0
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2answers
573 views

hyphenate “cutting-edge” & “state-of-the-art” following to-be verbs? [duplicate]

Is hyphenation preferred with "cutting-edge" and "state-of-the-art" when they follow a form of the verb to-be? Yes or no to the hyphenation below? The new software was cutting-edge. The technology ...
1
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1answer
113 views

Comma needed after “hour” in a 2-hour 15-minute traffic delay [duplicate]

Do you feel these are correct with the hyphens and absence of commas? a 2-hour 15-minute traffic delay (Instead of: a 2-hour, 15-minute traffic delay) a 7-pound 11-ounce newborn (Instead of: a ...
0
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2answers
124 views

Comma required to avoid syntactical (but not semantic) ambiguity?

Consider this sentence: You may worry about the Fed raising interest rates, or a market meltdown, but these risks should not change your investment plans. Could the comma before "or" be omitted? ...
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1answer
49 views

Can I omit the hyphens in “% a year”?

In the following, can I omit the hyphens in "%-a-year" and "million a year"? I cannot recast. This is nonfiction. Joe said, "Mike received a 10% a year increase." Gary said, "The figures reflected a ...
1
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2answers
132 views

How would I punctuate the phrase “making that which needs to be better better”? Is this phrase grammatically correct?

How would I punctuate the phrase "making that which needs to be better better"? I'm guessing that the phrase is grammatically correct, and that the punctuation is as follows, along with an example ...
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2answers
1k views

“Happy Birthday sir!” or “Happy Birthday, sir!”?

Which one is grammatically correct? Happy Birthday sir! Happy Birthday, sir! And where should I put "sir" in this sentence? Congratulations for completing another trip around the sun! Also ...
3
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2answers
161 views

I am not sure whether to put a comma after “so”, which is at the beginning of a sentence

Some people say since "so" is a transitional word, it should have a comma after it like all the transitional words have. And some say if "so" is there for logical continuity, then no comma should be ...
5
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2answers
441 views

Is this comma use unnecessary or wrong?

I'm an active user of another Stack Exchange site and regularly visit the close vote queue. When a particular filter has been cleared I see the following text: There are no items for you to ...
0
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3answers
229 views

Punctuation using e.g. (or i.e.) and lists of examples

Example: "...folders you want to export e.g., Inbox, Sent, etc. and choose..." I'm wondering if the above sentence fragment is appropriately punctuated. I've recently started using e.g. and am myself ...
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2answers
302 views

punctuation after beginning sentence with “In summary”, “Summing up” or “Last but not least”

I am often wondering if there is a comma needed after starting a sentence with in summary, summing up or last but not least. Here are two examples: Summing up, both children returned home safe. ...
1
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2answers
245 views

How do I mention a video game in a formal piece of writing?

What is the proper convention for mentioning the title of a video game in a formal research paper? Would I place the title in quotations, like the name of a short story ("Myst"), underline it, like ...
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1answer
60 views

Where I should put a comma in this sentence? [closed]

where I should put a comma in this sentence? Thank you for inspiring us to be a better servant of God.
3
votes
1answer
110 views

punctuation if dash introduces question-sentences

He worried--why X; what will happen if Y? It seems that this construction expresses the idea best, but it creates a few punctuation questions. Should the first semicolon be question-mark? Is there ...
2
votes
1answer
330 views

Question within a sentence [closed]

I know what I'm trying to get at with this sentence, but the punctuation feels a little off to me somehow. Is it correct? Or can it be improved? I was a little skeptical at first - what could be ...
1
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1answer
60 views

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
60 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 ...
1
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2answers
412 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 ...
1
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3answers
68 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 ...
1
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2answers
2k 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'?