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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Single quotation marks: punctuation marks outside or inside? [duplicate]

I use single quotation marks to provide translations of foreign terms and to highlight titles of parts of my dissertation. I'm confused where I should put commas and periods when they appear next to ...
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1answer
37 views

How would I punctuate a run-on sentence like this?

How can I punctuate this sentence to establish clarity without having to sacrifice cohesiveness? In general, there are four distinct castes that one could be born into: Brahmans, the highest ...
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1answer
56 views

Books on punctuation [on hold]

What are some good books on punctuation? Ideally, such a book should treat punctuation in both American English and British English. I have seen so many different rules in different books that I am ...
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2answers
34 views

Is there a rule how to punctuate adverbial modifiers of time in their front position?

I have a couple of sentences from a Macmillan coursebook by Malcolm Mann and Steve Taylore-Knowles 2007 going like this: Once a week, Helen watches a film at the cinema. In the evening, ...
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1answer
44 views

Punctuation in English Speaking Countries

US uses double quotes for dialogue. South Africa use less-than more-than style brackets. What about Ireland, Scotland,Britain and Australia? Any other predominantly English speaking countries?
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8 views

Does this sentence need a comma? [duplicate]

Over the past months, we have seized several opportunities for liaison. Is the comma in this sentence needed and/or correct? Which rule(s) of grammar apply here, and is there a name for this ...
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1answer
26 views

Obligatory punctuation for independent clauses as parts of a noun phrase?

Consider the following sentence: I remember the time I pushed John and he fell over. Is that sentence correctly punctuated as written? I ask because it has no commas. As I understand it, the ...
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4answers
66 views

Order of words and punctuation in a sentence [closed]

I am writing a sentence whose word order and punctuation has put me in a fix. Can I get some opinions on whether the construction is correct, grammatically? Ask him what becomes of the dogs he ...
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13answers
8k 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 ...
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1answer
58 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 ...
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2answers
52 views

Confusable plurals with apostrophe s [duplicate]

I have a question related to already shortened words and their plural forms. As I have seen on this site and have found in the dictionary, words like mas and pas are the plural form of the shortened ...
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1answer
38 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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3answers
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What is the best way to mention a word: italics, quotes, or single-quotes (apostrophes)?

If I want to mention the word "furlong", for example, should I use furlong, "furlong", or 'furlong'? Also, am I correct in putting the punctuation outside the quotes?
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2answers
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“Patients' Lifts” and “Consultants' Payments” - are these correct?

I saw some sign boards in a hospital which had the following description: Patients' Lifts Consultants' Payments As far as I know, the above signs should read Patient's Lifts or Patient Lifts and ...
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2answers
46 views

How do I punctuate a question with a guessed answer in it?

How to punctuate a question directly followed by the asker's guess at the answer? E.g. What's in here? Your books? What's in here, your books? What's in here; your books? Which of ...
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1answer
43 views

Ending a quotation in a comma?

Is it correct to have a comma before the closing quotation marks in a case like the following? “The combination of wet weather and time of day make this a dangerous stretch of road. Drivers have ...
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2answers
57 views

Does the apostrophe in names of diseases drop when the disease name is part of a foundation name?

Many diseases are named after the doctor who identified the diseases and therefore have names like Hodgkin's Disease or Parkinson's Disease. But when a fund or foundation is created to raise money ...
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comma vs semicolon preceding a list [duplicate]

Are lists preceded by a colon, semi-colon or something else? Today, I'm grateful for a few things: family, health, and work. Today, I'm grateful for a few things, specifically; family, ...
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1answer
62 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 ...
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1answer
54 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 ...
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2answers
41 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 ...
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1answer
45 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 ...
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20 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 ...
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1answer
12 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 ...
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2answers
32 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.
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1answer
62 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 ...
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5answers
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Correct punctuation in company names

My father's company is named the following: Xyz Trading Co. (L.L.C.) I find the use of periods excessive, at the abbreviation of company and the last period in the parenthesis. Is it ...
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1answer
37 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?
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1answer
25 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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1answer
69 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 ...
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2answers
75 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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1answer
31 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 ...
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6answers
3k 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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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 ...
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2answers
62 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
58 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 ...
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1answer
35 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 ...
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1answer
46 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, ...
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3answers
91 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?
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3answers
42 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 ...
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1answer
83 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 ...
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4answers
31k views

When do I use a question mark with “Could you [please] …”

A sentence like Could you please pass me the pepper shaker is not really a question. Should I use a question mark or a period to end this sentence? What about: Could you let me know when ...
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0answers
32 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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1answer
60 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 ...
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3answers
74 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: ...
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4answers
112 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 ...
2
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2answers
141 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
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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 ...
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3answers
111 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 ...
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5answers
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Are curly braces ever used in normal text? If not, why were they created?

Are they actually used in normal text? I mean something like a 'normal' book (not a manual, or a technical document). I don't think I've ever seen them yet they clearly predate programming which is ...