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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179 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
19 views

When using a singular/plural noun, where does the possessive apostrophe live?

I have a situation when a noun could be singular or plural and possessive. For example on a form for registering a dog at a vets, where you can register more than one dog on the same form: So the ...
0
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1answer
43 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 ...
0
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1answer
24 views

Does the following need a comma? “You must post 'precautions for usage, etc.' where applicable.”

This is for a poster regarding the treatment of dangerous chemicals in a lab. I have the generally feeling that after the "etc." there should be a comma, and I'm not sure if 1) it is necessary and 2) ...
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0answers
19 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
24 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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1answer
65 views

Can a declarative, independent clause be considered an introductory element?

Consider this question: Are you going to the birthday party? I know that the following response can be punctuated correctly in at least two ways: "I hope so. I have already bought a ...
4
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2answers
6k views

What is the abbreviation for 'century'?

I remember being taught in history classes to abbreviate century by writing a large capital C followed by the ordinal number as in: C18th without the full-stop (period). Recently I have noticed on ...
4
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2answers
5k views

Comma after To at the beginning of a sentence

I am just writing my master thesis and I am unsure whether to place a comma in sentences starting with "To". Here are some examples: To be able to improve the performance[,] it is important to ...
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0answers
24 views

Can someone please correct the below lines of mine and explain me where and why I am wrong. [closed]

An author of a work that has been published in Australia will automatically receive copyright protection in countries that are signatories to the Berne Convention. Likewise, an author of a work that ...
9
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2answers
462 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 ...
0
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4answers
54 views

Punctuation with maximum

How would I edit the following to be correct? He would hardly sleep. Sometimes just two hours a night, maximum – four, and no more. Should a hyphen be used? I do not want to add any words, just ...
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3answers
56k views

Where does the period go in an MLA in-text citation?

I've always been confused when citing like: "The windows misted over from the heat and the smoke inside.” (Hemingway 1) Does the period go inside the quotes (as above)? Or after the citation ...
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3answers
5k views

Is it acceptable to use a tilde symbol to sign your name?

Should the tilde symbol (~) be used to sign your name? It seems quite commonplace on Internet forums but I don't believe I've ever seen it used in books.
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1answer
22 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 ...
1
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1answer
50 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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2answers
41 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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0answers
21 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)..
2
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2answers
101 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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1answer
30 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
44 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”?
0
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1answer
50 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 ...
0
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2answers
40 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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1answer
30 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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2answers
44 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 ...
2
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1answer
112 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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0answers
15 views

Usage of colon/semicolon in this scenario [duplicate]

"Outside of my studies I regularly attend software development events and hackathons[,] competitive events based around rapidly creating software and hardware projects over a period between 24 and 48 ...
2
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1answer
4k views

Caption text punctuation: Full stops always necessary at the end?

Example caption text for a photo: Little Diane necklace 1a) No full stop is correct, yes? Now a longer example of caption text: Little Diane necklace. The photograph of the young Diane was ...
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2
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0answers
62 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
70 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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2answers
160 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!!
62
votes
13answers
9k 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 ...
0
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3answers
48 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
55 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 ...
3
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1answer
135 views

Should a serial comma be used when mimicking Victorian-era British text?

I am editing a manuscript that mimics the style of late 19th-century British writing. To what extent were serial commas used during this time period?
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1answer
27 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 ...
1
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3answers
55 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 ...
1
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3answers
50 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
45 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
43 views

Punctuation for referring to a question

Are either of these incorrect or nonstandard ways 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 ...
0
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1answer
49 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
35 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 ...
0
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1answer
25 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
105 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 ...
2
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3answers
526 views

Comma after address

Here's an example: Chocolate lovers rejoice! Chocolate lovers, rejoice! To my understanding, the first one says that chocolate lovers are rejoicing and in the second one, we are asking ...
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1answer
54 views

“Problem: solved.” or “Problem, solved.” or “Problem—solved.”

How should one correctly achieve the flow of this short sentence through the use of punctuation? Problem. Solved. In my specific example, I'm writing about how to restore creativity lost to the ...
0
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1answer
39 views

How to know when to use dashes or commas or braces when describing something in the middle of a sentence?

For example, you have a sentence like this: But let’s pluck a word at random from the vocabulary tree: lambaste. Let’s say whenever you encounter this word, the first four letters, l-a-m-b, ...
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1answer
41 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 ...
0
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2answers
44 views

How do I hypenate a triple modifier?

How would I hypenate the phrase 'high poverty public school?' My first guess was 'high-poverty public school', but I'm not really sure.