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I am wondering what punctuation would be used if you are telling the reader to look at a certain thing, and then telling them what they will see. Would it be "...transcript: You..." or "...transcript-You..." ? Or would it be just a period?

"Please look at the charging document in the file, and compare it with the trial transcript. You will notice that my trial was missing a member of the jury."

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    All three ways, and a fourth, using a semicolon, are fine. It's up to you. I would use a colon, since its force is to tell the reader to look ahead to what follows it. – Alan Carmack Nov 25 '16 at 16:21
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    Whichever style you use, don't capitalise the word after transcript unless it starts a new sentence (or unless it is a proper noun). – Lawrence Nov 25 '16 at 16:31
  • Wouldn't the "you" be capitalized since it could be the start of a new sentence? – LedZepp Nov 25 '16 at 16:34
  • Possible duplicate of [What are the rules on when to use commas, colons, semicolons and dashes?](What are the rules on when to use commas, colons, semicolons and dashes?) – Edwin Ashworth Nov 25 '16 at 16:59
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I agree with @AlanCarmack, and I, too, would use a colon.

As per Strunk and White, The Elements of Style (Macmillan, 1979, pp. 7-8):

"Use a colon after an independent clause to introduce a list of particulars, an appositive, an amplification, or an illustrative quotation." [emphasis added]

In the case of your example, the second sentence is an amplification of the first. Hence:

"Please look at the charging document in the file, and compare it with the trial transcript: you will notice that my trial was missing a member of the jury."

The colon focuses the more of the attention of the reader on what follows the colon.

  • The @ ping thing doesn't actually ping people when you use it in an answer. But I appreciate the shout out. In other words, I didn't get pinged, I just happened to read your answer... – Alan Carmack Nov 25 '16 at 16:31
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    @AlanCarmack Alan. Thanks. I didn't know that. – Richard Kayser Nov 25 '16 at 16:35
  • Wouldn't the "you" be capitalized since it could be the start of a new sentence? – LedZepp Nov 25 '16 at 16:36
  • @Richard I didn't either, till someone told me. – Alan Carmack Nov 25 '16 at 16:36
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    @LedZepp No, one wouldn't capitalize you. BTW, your original two full sentences were fine. "Please ..." has the effect of leading the reader to the sentence that follows. You could also consider a dash, which according to Strunk and White is less formal than the colon. – Richard Kayser Nov 25 '16 at 16:42

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