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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“How to […]?” and “Where to […]?” Questions that are not questions. Is this defensible?

Adding a question mark to the end of a "How to" or "Where to" sentence appears to be quite common. Here are two examples from this very site: How to punctuate a list of questions? (link) Where to ...
2
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1answer
43 views

If a sentence ends with a place name that ends with an exclamation mark, what punctuation should follow?

There are a few place names in the world that end with exclamation marks; for example, Westward Ho! and Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!. I suppose there are multiple cases here: If an ordinary statement ...
0
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2answers
39 views

Punctuation usage safe practice

Is it acceptable to use an exclamation point after a question mark to emphasize the question?
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3answers
542 views

Do I need a comma before “particularly”?

Do I need a comma before "particularly" in the case below? Thank you very much for your help! Vitamin D has properties against metabolic, neoplastic, and immune disorders particularly breast ...
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5answers
86k views

Should there always be a comma after “therefore”,“However” etc.?

Should you always type a comma after "therefore","However" etc. in the beginning of a sentence? Also, when these (and similar) words are used in the middle of a sentence, should there be a comma ...
1
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2answers
38 views

Next week, in particular, is my wife(')(,) Liana's(,) show

I was writing an email to my department, and was informing them about an art show my wife was having. So I wrote: Next week, in particular, is my wife Liana's show. But then I realized that I ...
0
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1answer
29 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 ...
2
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2answers
69 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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0answers
34 views

Using hyphens with number ranges

Which one of these is correct? Students will give a four-to-seven minute lecture about their topic. Students will give a four to seven minute lecture about their topic. Students will give a 4-7 ...
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1answer
9k views

Where should I put the commas in a sentence containing “as well as”?

What is the proper way to punctuate a sentence containing "as well as"? For example, in the sentence: I hope to provide students with a solid foundation in the field as well as challenge them ...
0
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2answers
21 views

Should I add punctuation after each in a a list of incomplete sentences?

When writing a list of potentially incomplete sentences, how should I punctuate each item? Daycare Admission Rules: No older than 5 years No younger than 1 year No purple Hair Do I end each with ...
4
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1answer
116 views

Which is the correct 'apostrophe' to use when typing? ' (quote) or ` (back-tick)

A recent discussion came up in GameDev that suggests that when you are using apostrope for abbreviations, that the correct apostrophe to use when typing is the back-tick (on US Keyboards below the ...
0
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1answer
30 views

When writing names for .mp3 and .pdf files (songs, books etc.) in Windows, do you use hyphen, en or em dash to separate an author and his/her work? [closed]

When writing names for .mp3 and .pdf files (songs, books etc.) in Windows, do you use hyphen, en or em dash to separate an author and his/her work? Ex. "Linkin Park - In the End" or "Linkin Park – ...
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2answers
47 views

quoting and punctuating a quote within parentheses

How do I make sure to punctuate my quotes within parentheses correctly? For example: Joe did not demonstrate insight into how he might alter his behavior to improve his social interactions (e.g., ...
3
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1answer
81 views

Can I use two colons in a sentence?

Can I use two colons in a sentence? A typical example would be something like the following: Note: I have substantial experience with the following languages: Python, Java, C++, and Perl. I have ...
1
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3answers
36 views

Punctuation in a series of verb phrases

A youngster literally pulls himself up by his bootstraps; finds a hero; establishes a dream; and then goes for it. Is a semicolon the correct punctuation here?
2
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4answers
1k views

Should I place a question mark after “Can you (just) imagine”?

I mean should I always split the sentence into two ("And can you imagine? He escaped through the window!") or I can just get away with one long sentence without a question mark at all (something like ...
2
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2answers
34 views

Where does the period go? [duplicate]

Which of these is correct? Our company has a philosophy that "People Matter". Our company has a philosophy that "People Matter." Does the period go inside the quotes here or outside?
3
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1answer
40 views

Is a comma necessary before “for which”?

Is a comma needed in this sentence? Is for which used correctly in this sentence? We define message codes for which security is well defined.
3
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1answer
44 views

Usage of the Oxford Comma with “and”

I was told that this sentence is correct with the usage of a comma before and after the word and. I want to correct my grammar if I am in error. To claim a prize, send a Private Message to me ...
3
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2answers
835 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 ...
27
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7answers
47k views

Should I always use a comma after “e.g.” or “i.e.”?

It seems that "e.g." is always followed by a comma but "i.e." is not. Why is that?
3
votes
1answer
720 views

How to use hyphens appropriately when listing multiple hyphenated terms?

If multiple hyphenated terms share the same latter half, and I wish to list them without repeating that latter half, how should the hyphens be placed? For example: I will be investigating control ...
0
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1answer
30 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.
0
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2answers
56 views

Would you insert any hyphens in these?

Are hyphens needed in these? If so, where would you insert them? Joel applied for the assistant store manager position. (Not: assistant-store-manager position, right?) Joel was enrolled in ...
0
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3answers
44 views

Would a comma be necessary here

Supposedly, when combining an independent clause with a participial clause, you separate them with a comma. But what about a sentence like: We built this facility, using the latest technology. To ...
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0answers
41 views

Full list of end of sentence characters

I'm looking for a list of end of sentence characters. The reason for this is because I'm creating links out of plain text using PHP and I need to make sure I correctly interpret various characters ...
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0answers
20 views

Ending sentence with etc in parentheses [duplicate]

I've seen prior discussions of ending a sentence with "etc." and I know there should only be one period. But what if the "etc." comes inside parenthesis which then end the sentence, such as: ...
4
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1answer
55 views

Is the usage of a hyphen in “ad hoc” acceptable?

I know that "ad hoc" is a Latin phrase and I've typically seen it used without a hyphen. However, many technical articles use a hyphen. For example: http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/A/ad_hoc_mode.html ...
0
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2answers
59 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 ...
11
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2answers
40k views

What is the proper use of [square brackets] in quotes?

I sometimes see square brackets used while quoting. My assumption is that they are replacing a pronoun with what the object of the pronoun, but I never know for sure because I don't usually get to ...
0
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2answers
54 views

Which is correct — period, semicolon, or colon? [duplicate]

Each day, difficult choices have to be made. Who will live, and who will die? Each day, difficult choices have to be made; Who will live, and who will die? Each day, difficult choices have ...
5
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3answers
3k views

What does the punctuation “//” mean?

What does the punctuation "//" mean? For example: I think I owe myself a THWACK. //ashamed ... //run ... //head down I heard this is related to the comment in the programming ...
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2answers
66 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.
34
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10answers
25k views

Is there a standard ordering for the question mark and the exclamation mark used together?

We've all wanted to express certain questions, rhetorical or not, with annoyance, excitement, surprise, frustration and so on. What better way than with both a question mark (?) and an exclamation ...
6
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5answers
2k views

Should an ending semicolon be underlined?

Should the semicolon at the end of an underlined heading also be underlined?
2
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3answers
236 views

Is it ok to omit a possessive apostrophe before a capitalized appellation (President, country name, VP, PM)?

In a recent Financial Times article (Yemen PM Escapes Assissnation), the apostrophe necessary to show possession was left out. I've seen colleagues do it as well. Isn't it supposed to be "Yemen's PM ...
45
votes
14answers
2k views

If an insertion in parentheses ends with a smiley, how do I distinguish between the two?

I know smileys are not part of written language (yet), and any questions about them are irrelevant to linguistics and are kind of not serious. So take my question with a smiley then. It bugs me ...
9
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5answers
2k views

Spaces around a colon

In a recent test, I fixed a feature and I was given the document back because it was pointed out the following was not correct. Name: Sandy Corporation I was asked to do this Name : Sandy ...
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2answers
53 views
18
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9answers
32k views

Using a comma before “but”

I was once told by an English professor that a comma should never be used before but in a sentence. For years, I have followed her advice but sometimes I just feel like it just needs to be there. On ...
6
votes
1answer
477 views

When did modern punctuation emerge?

Medieval punctuation was different from the one we use now; for example, Medieval punctuation included punctus, punctus versus, and punctus flexus. When did their equivalent in modern English ...
5
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5answers
339 views

What's the right punctuation for the following list?

Many cases of animal suicide were discused. A duck drowned itself after the death of its companion. A school of dolphins stranded on a beach with no reason whatsoever. A deer threw itself from ...
2
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3answers
54 views

Is a comma required in “Until now X, that it is about time we do Y”?

I am wondering if I should leave the comma in the following sentence: Until now he has been behaving so badly, that it is about time we do something about it.
2
votes
3answers
368 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 ...
1
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3answers
104 views

How to write a question with a suggested answer at the end

How do you properly convey in writing a sentence where a question is asked and followed by a suggested answer? For example, the question "What are we having for dinner?" is asked, and the guess ...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

Is a comma still required before the name of the addressee when there's a tag question?

For a sentences like "You're a good person, Tom." and "You're a good person, aren't you?" There's no doubt the commas are required. But what about: "You're a good person, aren't you, Tom?" Are both ...
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2answers
59 views

Usage of hyphen when naming colors

When is it appropriate to use a hyphen when naming colors? For instance Blue-green has a dash but Teal blue does not. Is there some general English rule that applies?
1
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1answer
96 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 ...
4
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1answer
62 views

A Comma Here Or Not? [duplicate]

That's what this struggle, this isolation, this retreat is all about. Should there be a comma after this retreat? In the state above, it looks to me as if this struggle and this isolation are ...