1

With those two possible values : 0 and 1, for each of the seven bits, there is a total of 128 characters that can be used in the ASCII encoding scheme.

What punctuation mark should the ":" be replaced by in the given sentence?

I could probably use a comma, but then it will result in too many commas in the sentence. Is there a way to replace the comma with some other punctuation mark? Will the sentence be correct if I don't use a punctuation mark (at the given place) at all?

1

Your version

With those two possible values : 0 and 1, for each of the seven bits, there is a total of 128 characters that can be used in the ASCII encoding scheme.

The first thing to note is that a colon (and other such punctuation in English) should come directly after the previous word without a space.

I think you have a number of possibilities, e.g.

1. semicolons

This option temporarily removed while I research my use of semi-colons


2. em dashes

With those two possible values — 0 and 1, for each of the seven bits — there is a total of 128 characters that can be used in the ASCII encoding scheme.

Em dashes set apart parenthetical phrases or clauses in a sentence. In this use, em dashes are similar to commas and parentheses, but there are subtle differences. For example, em dashes are used when a parenthetical remark contains an internal comma or would otherwise sound awkward if enclosed by commas.

Grammarist.com


3. parentheses

With those two possible values (0 and 1, for each of the seven bits) there is a total of 128 characters that can be used in the ASCII encoding scheme.


Summary

I would say it is a matter of weighing style and clarity. In this case I'd go for clarity and speaking personally would choose 3.

  • Sorry, I downvoted. I disagree with option 1--I don't believe semicolons are normally used that way. In option 2, I think you should use em dashes rather than hyphens (or at least say they should be em dashes, if your keyboard doesn't allow for typing them out). While option 3 is technically correct, I believe using parentheses reduces the importance of the two numbers to a level lower than warranted. I think it should be "With those two values, 0 and 1 for the seven bits,..." or this same structure but with em dashes. Let me know what you think. – Tragicomic Sep 20 '15 at 12:27
  • I don't think "0 and 1 for each of the seven bits" needs internal punctuation, but the entire phrase can be enclosed in commas or em dashes or parentheses. – Tragicomic Sep 20 '15 at 12:33
  • I'll find out how to change to em dashes and alter them. – chasly from UK Sep 20 '15 at 15:37
  • @Tragicomic - Having written it out without the internal comma as you suggest, I don't think it works. I'll return later and add a note to my answer saying why. – chasly from UK Sep 20 '15 at 15:55
  • Thanks for looking into my feedback. I've removed my downvote. – Tragicomic Sep 20 '15 at 22:51

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