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Punctuation [semi] Outdone

#DailyFixEA

Lynne Truss on punctuation:

“But colons and semicolons — well, they are in a different league, my dear! They give such lift! Assuming a sentence rises into the air with the initial capital letter and lands with a soft-ish bump at the full stop, the humble comma can keep the sentence aloft all right, like this, UP, for hours if necessary, UP, like this, UP, sort-of bouncing, and then falling down, and then UP it goes again, assuming you have enough additional things to say, although in the end you may run out of ideas and then you have to roll along the ground with no commas at all until some sort of surface resistance takes over and you run out of steam anyway and then eventually with the help of three dots . . . you stop.

But the thermals that benignly waft our sentences to new altitudes — that allow us to coast on air, and loop-the-loop, suspending the laws of gravity — well, they are the colons and semicolons.”

Truss’s book, Eats, Shoots & Leaves, is an excellent resource for writers of all kinds. You can find it here.

Punctuate That Title

[found on thepunctuationguide.com]

“Titles of works

The titles of certain works are indicated with quotation marks, others with italics, and yet others with regular type.

The style presented here is consistent with The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.) and the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.), and is appropriate for most academic and professional writing. Newspapers tend to favor quotation marks in place of italics for most titles.”

Click image:

1)   To see entire list

2)   To read more important tools from

thepunctuationguide.com

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 3.39.18 PM

 

[found on http://www.thepunctuationguide.com/titles-of-works.html]

 

Why Can’t I Italicize My Punctuation?

[found on the-word-blog.com; by Heather]

“The Rule (According to CMS 6.3): Punctuation should appear in the same font or typeface as the general body text of a document. So if you have a roman sentence that contains an italicized word followed by a comma, the comma should appear in roman.”

To read Heather explain about the exceptions to this rule, click HERE.

 

[Found on http://the-word-blog.com/2009/04/28/formatting-ink-italics-punctuation/]

Not All Is Possessive

[found on grammarphobia.com; by The Grammarphobia Blog]

 Nouns: Possessive vs Genitive

“Normally, nouns used with numbers to form adjectival phrases are singular, as in “two-inch rain,” “three-year-old boy,” “two-dollar word,” “eight-volume biography,” and “four-star restaurant.”

However, where a plural noun is used by tradition to form such a phrase, it’s generally followed by an apostrophe, as in “the Thirty Years’ War” and “the Hundred Years’ War.”

The plural followed by an apostrophe is also used in phrases like “ten dollars’ worth” or “five years’ experience” or “two days’ time.”

Apostrophe constructions like these aren’t “possessive” in the sense of ownership; strictly speaking, they’re genitive.”

To learn more from grammarphobia.com, click here.

[found on http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2010/08/sui-genitive.html]

Punctuation Is Your Friend . . .

[found on thepunctuationguide.com]

 . . .

“An ellipsis is a set of three periods ( . . . ) indicating an omission. Each period should have a single space on either side, except when adjacent to a quotation mark, in which case there should be no space.”

“The em dash is perhaps the most versatile punctuation mark. Depending on the context, the em dash can take the place of commasparentheses, or colons—in each case to slightly different effect.

Notwithstanding its versatility, the em dash is best limited to two appearances per sentence. Otherwise, confusion rather than clarity is likely to result.

Do not mistake the em dash (—) for the slightly narrower en dash (–) or the even narrower hyphen (-). Those marks serve different purposes and are further explained in other sections.”

!

The most flagrant way a writer demonstrates contempt for his readers is by ignoring punctuation altogether. A close second is the abundant use of the exclamation point. Some writers even use three or more exclamation points, lest the reader not fully grasp the significance of what is being said.  To be effective, the exclamation point should be used in moderation.”

[ found on http://www.thepunctuationguide.com/index.html ]

Grammar Up, It’s Important

[found on writerstreasure.com; by  ]

“Read up on Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation

Before you get offended for me saying such a suggestion, let me elaborate. There are some common misspellings found on the internet; two such lists are found here and here. “It’s and its”, “there and their”, “loose and lose” and so on. So if you make such a common mistake, people will see you as an amateur.

Grammar mistakes are as common as spelling mistakes. Some new school people say go ahead and break the grammar rules. That may be good advice for a few of them (for example, you should break the no sentence ending with a preposition rule and you’re perfectly free to begin a sentence with ‘and’ and ‘but’ if it appeals to you).

But not all grammar rules were made by stodgy people, and most make sense. If it appeals to you to break them, go ahead, but you must know the reason why you broke it in the first place, and why it wasn’t appropriate. If you don’t know that you broke a rule or why, your credibility goes out of the window.

In the same way, people make punctuation mistakes often without realizing that they did it. The confusion between “me, myself and I”, the improper and incorrect use of the apostrophe (some people have campaigned for its being banned since it causes so much confusion among people) etc has become rapidly larger and larger.

So that is why, if you really want to become a credible writer who is not governed by the rules, go read up on grammar, spelling and punctuation. A single book or two will clear confusions, enable to break rules knowing why you broke them, consciously following sensible rules and more.

Tip: – Don’t rely on Microsoft Word’s Grammar Checker. Its spell check is all right, but the grammar tool is atrocious. Many has been the time that it shows up its infamous green line under my words and calls out for incorrect and so called grammatically correct changes. Have you ever seen a “Fragment (consider revising)” call to change? It’s perfectly all right to ignore that, because you’re not writing a textbook, you’re a creative writer.”

For more excellent tips on writing from Writers’ Treasure, click here.

[found on http://www.writerstreasure.com/how-to-improve-your-creative-writing]