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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45 views

Land cover, land-cover, or landcover?

In literature, I often see landcover, land cover, and even land-cover. Land cover seems slightly more prevalent than the others. Which is correct? Land cover is the material covering the Earth's ...
2
votes
1answer
703 views

Should the word after “e.g.” be capital

If you are using a word that normally wouldn't start with a capital letter, should it be lower case after an e.g.? Also should e.g. have a capital E at the start of a sentence? Example phrases: ...
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5answers
102 views

How to punctuate combinations of 'and' and 'or'

For this question, please bear in mind that or denotes [[either or both]]. I need to express that Mary will go to the movies with, either one of, or both of, Jane and John. Jane or John and Mary ...
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1answer
39 views

Syntax for “doesn't do this thing” but “will”

Working on this sentence: I look forward to iOS in the Car so the one clock that doesn't set itself automatically will. Recognizing that it (intentionally) feels non-standard, is it ...
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4answers
434 views

How to punctuate “To be, or not to be, that is the question”

What would be the correct way to punctuate this line from Hamlet? Should there simply be commas or should a colon be used? e.g.: To be, or not to be: that is the question.
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2answers
3k views

Spacing after Mr./Mrs./Ms.? [closed]

Should I put a space after Mr./Mrs./Ms.? In other words, should it be "Mr.Jones" or "Mr. Jones?"
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2answers
77 views

Does this require a question mark, comma, or dash?

Which do you prefer? Apples or oranges? Which do you prefer, apples or oranges? Which do you prefer—apples or oranges?
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0answers
26 views

Omission of commas after speech tags? [duplicate]

I'm seeing commas omitted after dialogue tags in writing. Examples Zachary said 'I'm tired of his rudeness'. I often see the comma omitted after the speech tags 'He said', 'She said' at the ...
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1answer
173 views

Punctuating a salutation on a line by itself [duplicate]

In a salutation on a line by itself, which version is punctuated correctly? Hi, Mr Lawler, I am writing to say [...] Hi Mr Lawler, I am writing to say [...] Hi, Mr Lawler. ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Ages — Semicolons, commas or parentheses? [closed]

Which is preferred below--1, 2 or 3? Are all versions technically correct? Which is your pick? 1. Mike, 25, Jimmy, 44, and Joshua, 49, were arrested on a charge of petit larceny. 2. Mike, 25; Jimmy, ...
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2answers
39 views

Semicolons vs Commas [duplicate]

Which is preferred? Are both technically correct? 1. Mike scored 40 points; John, 17; and Victor, 2. (Is the added punctuation here [ie the semicolons and extra commas] unneeded?) 2. Mike scored 40 ...
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votes
1answer
138 views

Commas around 'Too' [closed]

I see it both ways with a comma before a sentence-ending 'too' and a comma on each side of 'too' when it's the second word in a sentence. Are these commas really needed? Would you personally use them? ...
2
votes
2answers
146 views

Spaces and em-dash

In using the em-dash, where do you put the spaces? Which of the following is correct? School is based on the three R’s —reading, writing, and ’rithemtic. or School is based on the three R’s— ...
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votes
1answer
86 views

Commas and Semicolons with Nonrestrictive Clauses [duplicate]

If I have one brother named Frank, one sister named Danielle, and one wife named Theresa, is the following sentence punctuated correctly with the commas and semicolons? Please, just yes or no — minus ...
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2answers
239 views

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
81 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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votes
1answer
62 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
113 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
votes
1answer
429 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
63 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
51 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 ...
1
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1answer
2k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
510 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
9k 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
197 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
votes
1answer
125 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
105 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
59 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
799 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 ...
1
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1answer
375 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. ...
1
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1answer
701 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 ...
1
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1answer
3k 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: ...
2
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2answers
82 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 ...
1
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2answers
1k 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 ...
0
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2answers
53 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
120 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
52 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?
0
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1answer
59 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
358 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...’.
0
votes
1answer
46 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
vote
1answer
351 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
174 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
35 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 ...
0
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2answers
126 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
73 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
votes
2answers
321 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
82 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
votes
2answers
71 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 ...
0
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3answers
204 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 ...