0
votes
0answers
17 views

Quoting lyrics or lines of poetry

When quoting a lyric or line of poetry in running prose, should the original capitalisation be preserved?
-1
votes
1answer
68 views

Can we use the abbreviation “etc” without a period/full stop?

Throughout Practical English Usage 3rd Edition (Swan, 2005), the author writes etc in a manner I can't help but wonder if it's a typo. Much/far/a lot etc more money Many/far/a lot etc ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

Punctuation between clauses when the first clause is a series

I have this sentence: Even if I seem too busy, or you made a mistake, or someone we care about will be upset, or you feel embarrassed, if anything bothers you, I want to know. I believe that ...
1
vote
1answer
170 views

Oxford Comma Conventions

According to the Wikipedia page for the Oxford Comma, "Use of the comma is consistent with conventional practice" and "Use of the comma is inconsistent with conventional practice." Did the Oxford ...
3
votes
1answer
109 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
208 views

What are reasons to omit quotation marks in dialogue?

While writing a short memoir for a college course, I wrote the dialogue without quotation marks, the biggest reason being that I do not like how clunky it looks in Times New Roman. I do not mind it ...
0
votes
1answer
150 views

Active and passive verb with different prepositions for same object - commas?

I've got a sentence like this: A will impose B on and further be affected by C The two verbs have nothing in common, they both just put A in some relation to C. As C is quite long I don't want ...
4
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
145 views

Why do people use “…” in emails after people's names? For example, “Mike… ”

What does this "..." mean in emails? For example, "Mike...You are always welcome to come to our social event."
0
votes
1answer
95 views

How to punctuate a question within a thought [duplicate]

In a third person narrative, punctuate the following sentence: Wasn't art supposed to impact the reader in an emotional way, she wondered. How would that line be punctuated? I know I could use ...
1
vote
2answers
652 views

How to correctly use double quotation marks at the end of a sentence? [duplicate]

Group A: This is so-called "Moon Cake." // The period is inside the double quatation marks This is so-called "Moon Cake". // The period is outside the double quatation marks I know the ...
2
votes
3answers
304 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
185 views

Combine upgrade and downgrade

Is there an appropriate way to shorten the phrase "upgrade and downgrade"? I am writing a paper and have to use this combination frequently. I am trying to find a succinct way to let the reader know ...
1
vote
4answers
261 views

Placement of commas and 'and' in English numerals

I have a similar question to the one below When writing out large numbers in words, should commas be placed at thousand separators? I'm writing a program to spell out large numbers, and am unsure if ...
1
vote
1answer
138 views

What punctuation mark should I use? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the proper use of [square brackets] in quotes? What do brackets in a quote mean? When I add information beside a word in a Bible verse, what bracket should I ...
8
votes
5answers
11k views

When writing out large numbers in words, should commas be placed at thousand separators?

Would a number, say, 5,629,296 be written with commas: Five million, six hundred twenty nine thousand, two hundred ninety six or without commas: Five million six hundred twenty nine ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

When to use ellipsis (suspension points)

Continuing this thought: Learning English as a second language I was taught that suspension points meant uncertainty, omission of words or interrupted thoughts. There are plenty of threads ...
3
votes
1answer
201 views

Colon between “that is” and formal definition

Is it appropriate to use "that is" followed by a colon when defining something formally? I have the following example: Let γ be the set of groups that hold variables accessed by C, that is: γ ...
2
votes
0answers
174 views

Is there some guideline that I can point to about the overuse of bold and underline? [closed]

I am getting really tired of getting emails and PowerPoint presentations in which half of the words bold and underlined. There is also excessive use of exclamation points, all caps, and overly strong ...
7
votes
3answers
750 views

Can I say this in English: “Hard- and Software”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Use of hyphens when writing repeated compound words that has common parts In German we can use a hyphen as indication that there is a continuation of the current word ...
4
votes
1answer
578 views

Inconsistency in Strunk and White regarding serial comma

From Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, Chapter 2, Lesson 2: In a series of three or more terms with a single conjunction, use a comma after each term except the last Thus write, ...
3
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
71 views

Comma usage for multiple words [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Comma before last item in a list Is it correct to write: a,b, or c a,b, and c Is the comma used after b correct?
4
votes
4answers
9k views

Standard format for phone numbers? [closed]

I've recently noticed a wider variety in how phone numbers are presented, both in print and online, specifically with regard to spacing & punctuation. Examples: +1 (555) 123 4567 +1 (555) ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

When is it appropriate to use non-breaking spaces?

I started using non-breaking spaces between a number and a unit of measure (10_ft), and within a name (Dr._John_Smith). I like the "look" of using non-breaking spaces to prevent titles from wrapping, ...
3
votes
4answers
264 views

Using the semicolon in my sentence

I am writing an essay and don't have a fundamental understanding in using semicolons, and in fact writing as well. My sentence is below: Group dynamics is the study of the processes and functions ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Is the phrase, “Use commas sparingly” a valid piece of advice?

I am currently in the process of collaboratively editing a research paper, and participated in a meeting about it today. During the discussion, the head of the group made a blanket statement about ...
1
vote
3answers
7k views

How to write a bulleted list? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Question about Capitalization for a Bullet List Periods for bullet point items Should each item be in uppercase or not? I've seen both forms: Yada, yada, yada, ...
7
votes
2answers
7k views

To hyphenate or not?

As a non-native speaker of English and an engineer by training, I always get confused about hyphenation and almost always end up referring to Google every time I need to make that decision. Does ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Question mark usage/position when sentence ends with a declarative quotation?

Who said "I am hungry?" The quotation is not a question, but do I put "my" question mark there anyway? This is related to, but not the same as Position of question mark when sentence doesn't ...
4
votes
1answer
388 views

May en-dashes be used in sports scores?

The accepted answer to the authoritative question When should I use an em-dash, an en-dash, and a hyphen? currently has this to say regarding the en-dash: An en-dash is use to connect values in a ...
88
votes
1answer
55k views

When should I use an em-dash, an en-dash, and a hyphen?

I generally know how to use a hyphen, but when should I use an en-dash instead of an em-dash, or when should I use a hyphen instead of an em-dash?
83
votes
15answers
41k views

Should I put a comma before the last item in a list?

Should I put a comma before last item in list? I would like crackers, cheese and some soda. I would like crackers, cheese, and some soda.