30

A lot depends on what style manual you follow. I follow Hart’s Rules at the University Press Oxford and according to Hart’s - Footnote references should be placed outside punctuation, but inside the closing parenthesis when referring to matter within parentheses. It makes no distinction between numeric or symbol footnotes. It makes no distinction ...


24

One American dialect where you can say Mary book rather than Mary's book, is African American Vernacular English, spoken mainly in the African American community. See this article. An excerpt: Possession in AAVE is also different. It can be shown by proximity where the owner’s name comes before the object owned. For instance, “She over Mary house” (...


21

The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition (2003) has this entry under "Exclamation Point": 6.77 Exclamation rather than question. A question that is essentially an exclamation usually ends with an exclamation point. How could you possibly believe that! When will I ever learn! If we take this guidance seriously, it seems to me, then for like ...


17

The omission of the possessive suffix is very common in many Caribbean dialects. Here's a short excerpt from an article on Trinidadian folk speech that happens to include your "Mary book" example: With regard to expressing the possessive concept, inflectional suffixation is completely lost in the folk speech. Standard English marks possession in nouns ...


13

I thought readers might like to see how different style guides address the general question of how to position footnote callouts (termed "cues" in The Oxford Guide to Style, "note numbers" in The Chicago Manual of Style, and "references" in Words into Type). Here is a quick rundown of the relevant passages from one British and five U.S. style guides. From ...


12

I don't normally answer my own questions, but in this case I feel compelled to do so. FumbleFingers' answer — the only answer this question has received* — while well-argued and not incorrect, feels like the answer of someone who is faced with a problem he recognizes but cannot solve, and so falls back on whatever has served in the past: in this case, the "...


12

I believe there is a comma after "read it" in the third example in Strunk and White's Elements of Style. I'm looking for a version of the book that does not include the serial comma in that example but haven't found one. Revision: I found one. It was a PDF copy of an older edition so I couldn't see the publication date. It appears that there was a typo ...


12

No, the Merriam-Webster example is not wrong. As far as Fowler, because he is a prescriptivist, I'm not sure it makes sense to call him 'wrong'. So he's advocating a ban on gerund-participials after as well as. Well, all I can say is that such a blanket ban would go against very solidly established usage, and that there is nothing intrinsically ...


10

The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition (2003), has very clear preferences, which it lists at section 9.64 (rules paraphrased from a table): For ranges starting with a page number of 1 through 100 (or multiples of 100), use all digits of the end-range number: 3–10, 71–72, 96–117, 100–104, 1100–1113 For ranges starting with a page number of 101 ...


10

This is a style question. Some style guides specifically recommend lowercasing the plural form rivers in exactly the situation that the OP raises. For example, Chicago Manual of Style, Fifteenth Edition (2003) has this: 8.57 Mountains, rivers, and the like. Names of mountains, rivers, oceans, islands, and so forth are capitalized. The generic term (...


8

I cannot offer a systematic treatment of this subject, but I have found one interesting data point, English Grammar Simplified, Its Study Made Easy by James C Fernald, LHD (1916, which, alas, predates your source by three years only). To show that this is clearly a text from the prescriptive school, I quote Dr Fernald's preface: The facts of correct ...


7

Roman numerals are used specifically to enumerate the pages of the front matter — title page, foreword, etc. — whilst Arabic numerals are used to enumerate the pages of the rest of a book.


7

I realise this is an old post, but I was searching for guidance on this issue myself, and, unfortunately, things have changed. The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, now says (§6.2) that punctuation surrounding a word or phrase should be in the font of the surrounding text, unless the punctuation is part of the text in question (e.g., the movie title ...


7

While it's ultimately a matter of style and preference, I think the case for the period is very strong. The period makes the writing clearer without becoming a distraction, and that's what good punctuation should do. Using italics to distinguish the two kinds of tag questions works, but adding more punctuation creates more distraction. The only real ...


6

Dictionary.reference.com doesn't list yearslong, but it does list yearlong. I think the more proper spelling would be years-long (and, to be honest, year-long as well).


6

If they are all pieces of another published work, See excerpt 6.1 on page 43. An excerpt in writing is a quoted passage taken from a longer work, such as a book, or poem, or an article. Whatever the subject of your writing or the type of writing you intend to compose, excerpts can be used to 'show' readers what it is you want them to understand ...


5

I've worked as a copy editor with numerous in-house style guides at different publishing houses, as well as with various style guides intended for a wider audience (Chicago, AP, MLA, Oxford, Words Into Type, Harvard Blue Book), and I can't recall ever having seen one that imposed an alternating-gender-pronoun approach. I have occasionally encountered this ...


5

"Being he" and "To be he", despite their awkwardness, do seem to have been traditionally prescribed by at least some grammar-guide authors in sentences where there is no preceding subject of any kind. (However, Peter Shor's answer indicates that this was not universal; some authors apparently thought the accusative would be better in some ...


5

Here's my two cents on the subject. Interestingly the ngram viewer doesn't find a single occurrence of are my two cents. The actual book search does however. Guess those books are not part of the corpus ngram is based on. However there is a clear rising trend of 's my two cents (top four of all phrases ending in my two cents) and here's my two cents. (...


5

I'd posit that the "here's..." version is preferable, on various grounds. As the OP suggests, the implied meaning is "here's my two cents worth". In fact this idiom is likely derived from (or at least cognate to) the common British English expression: Here's my tuppenceworth (Tuppence = 'two pennies'). https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tuppence_worth#...


5

Generally speaking, the lowercase spelling has the upperhand (ho, ho, ho) But according to Google books Ngram, the Brits use either indistinctively. However, Ngram is not really indicative of spelling preferences because many of the results are from book titles, where it is conventional to capitalise nearly every word. e.g More Than Just French Fries, Who ...


5

You start a sentence with a conjunction when you want to call a clause out for special emphasis. Examples: We finally won a game against Notre Dame. And our best player wasn't even in the game! You can come up with $500 to pay the fine. Or you can spend 30 days in jail. We were spent, bruised, broke, and bewildered. But at least we were home. As you ...


5

Long long ago written matter was presented to the public largely through what was called "print"—black (or sometimes coloured) markings on an artificial membrane called "paper". At that time the aesthetics of document layout were managed by craftsmen called "printers" (or, more resoundingly, "typographers"). Eventually a machine was developed—a ...


4

I'm not sure it counts as a "definitive answer", but so far as I'm concerned punctuation can't be used to differentiate OP's two intonations (and hence, meanings). The standard rules of punctuation require the question mark to follow all constructions framed as questions, though style guides generally make exceptions for either/both of these types: The ...


4

It isn't as true for isn't, I don't think. If I was writing for a formal audience, there are some contractions I'd avoid, and others I'd have no problem using. Some examples where I would NOT use the contraction: The experiment could've been set up differently. (use could have instead) This experiment's the first one of three that we ran. (use experiment ...


4

Briefly put, Roman numerals are an alternate form of enumeration. It makes it easy to see the difference between the foreword and the actual content of the book. This is also the reason it's used in nested lists. The history is that page numbering and Arabic numerals started to become popular in English at about the same time. It wasn't until centuries later ...


4

There are no strict rules governing the use of semicolons, and few consistent conventions. By and large the semicolon is used when you want to mark a disjunction as 'stronger' than one marked by a comma but not so strong as one marked by a full stop. One fairly routine use, for instance, is to distinguish successive list items which themselves require ...


4

The answer appears to be no. On page 22 of this sample reference list by the APA, there is an example of an article that ends in a question marks, just like yours (though it’s from a paper journal, not an online one): Ohnishi, T., Matsuda, H., Tabira, T., Asada, T., & Uno, M. (2001). Changes in brain morphology in Alzheimer’s disease and exaggerated ...


4

The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law (2002) offers an opinion that is very similar to the one Father Luke identifies in his answer: Capitalize the first word after a colon only if it is a proper noun or the start of a complete sentence: He promised this: The company will make good all the losses. But: There were three considerations: ...


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