ariestess: (TFO beauty -- from theonlyspl)
[personal profile] ariestess
Today we're going to look at this anonymously asked question, "Do appositives always need punctuation?" with the help of our friends from Ghostbusters.

Do appositives always need punctuation? )
[identity profile]
One of our readers asks, “How many exclamation marks are too many? What is the standard usage on number of exclamation marks in a sentence or on a page?”

This sounds like a question born in the era of OMG!!!!!1!!1eleventy!, but questions around overuse of exclamation marks—or exclamation points in American English—have been around for much longer. Here is some advice, old and new, with examples from Stargate SG-1. )
[identity profile]
Most of us with a fondness for (or even a passing familiarity with) grammar can relate to the jarring, nails-on-a-chalkboard sensation of running across a sentence that claims, “Me and him are best friends.” Unless the sentence is meant to be an example of ultra-relaxed colloquial dialogue, most grammar-minded people will want to run screaming from the room as soon as they’ve parsed it.

Fortunately, we’re not alone.

Such is the point made in Jen Doll’s June 2012 article from Doll graciously shares 10 of her favorite copyediting and grammar-for-life rules, some of which I’ll be discussing right here )
theemdash: (M Grammar)
[personal profile] theemdash
This question came to us with a specific example, wondering about the correct punctuation in this sentence: The eleven-inch wand, the one made of ash[,] shot out a stream of sparks.

Let's start by identifying "the one made of ash" as an appositive phrase. Our Grammar 101: Prepositions & Phrases article defines an appositive as "a noun or pronoun, often with modifiers, that renames or identifies another noun or pronoun within a sentence."

Punctuating Appositives with help from Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer )
chomiji: Tenpou from Saiyuki Gaiden. with the caption Not necessarily by the book (Tenpou - Not by the book)
[personal profile] chomiji

This past January, over at Vulture (which is an online arm of New York Magazine), columnist Kathryn Schulz compiled a list of The 5 Best Punctuation Marks in Literature. I'm partial to punctuation myself, especially the semicolon, so I was curious about which marks Schulz favored. It turns out that her list wasn't exactly what I had imagined.

What, then, did she mean? )
[identity profile]
While I can't say that I've encountered such inflammatory disagreements here at [ profile] fandom_grammar, we grammarians certainly have our disagreements, don't we?

Third Way

[rollover text:] 'The monospaced-typewriter-font story is a COMPLETE FABRICATION! WAKE UP, SHEEPLE'
'It doesn't matter! Studies support single spaces!'
'Those results weren't statistically significant!'
'Fine, you win. I'm using double spaces right now!'
'Are not! We can all hear your stupid whitespace.'
[identity profile]
Our question for today is how to punctuate a bulleted list when a statement comes right before the list. I will add numbered lists, as well.

There are actually two parts to this answer: the statement that comes before the list and the list itself. Both have a variety of options, and it seems no two resources agree. Here is a grammarian's advice with some examples from Teen Wolf. )
[identity profile]
The apostrophe (') may be the simplest and yet most frequently misused mark of punctuation in English. It was introduced into English in the 16th century from Latin and Greek, in which it served to mark the loss of letters.
And as editor Tom McArthur notes in The Oxford Companion to the English Language, "There was never a golden age in which the rules for the use of the possessive apostrophe in English were clear-cut and known, understood, and followed by most educated people." Read more... )
[identity profile]
The ability to use punctuation properly is very important. Don't believe us? Just ask John and Gloria.

If you want brush up on your own punctuation know-how, visit our "punctuation" tag, here.

(no subject)

Monday, 1 April 2013 22:21
[identity profile]
We've discovered several important new grammar and punctuation marks, and we're planning on devoting entries to them soon. For today, we wanted to give you a brief introduction:

Click here for the full list.

If you have any recommendations for using these on an 'old' keyboard, please share in the comments, that'll be very helpful for future entries!
theemdash: (M Grammar)
[personal profile] theemdash
If you've ever wondered why grammarians shake their fists over punctuation and insist that you correctly wield your dots and dashes, T-Rex kindly exemplifies the reasons. (From Ryan North's Dinosaur Comics)

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we can speak without limits

More information about punctuation can be found by browsing the punctuation tag.
chomiji: Tenpou from Saiyuki Gaiden. with the caption Not necessarily by the book (Tenpou - Not by the book)
[personal profile] chomiji

starwatcher307 asked us "How do you punctuate with abbreviations?"

One of the first things to get out of the way on this issue is whether you want to use periods (British usage: full stops) in your abbreviations. For a discussion about how to decide whether to use periods in an abbreviation, see our earlier article.

If the abbreviation in question is something like NCIS or CIA, without periods, you would follow normal rules of punctuation, as you would for the complete name of the organization. But if your abbreviation is, say, U.N. (United Nations) or Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy), things are a little more tricky - but only a little.

With examples from C.J. Cherryh's novel Hellburner, part of her Alliance-Union series )


[identity profile]
[ profile] tejas asks: When is it appropriate to use an apostrophe?

With examples from Star Trek and Psych.

Apostrophe usage )
[identity profile]
[ profile] aurora_novarum asked:

When you are expressing an interrogatory of high emotion, how do you punctuate it? (with examples from Stargate SG-1)

While it's generally considered to be cautiously acceptable to use multiple exclamation marks and/or question marks in casual correspondence, it's severely frowned upon everywhere else. However, there are a number of other ways to indicate extreme emotion in your writing without sending punctuation-conscious readers scrambling for the back button.

Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind. )

Cut text is a quote from Terry Pratchett.
theemdash: (M Grammar)
[personal profile] theemdash
In the previous punctuation post, [ profile] skroberts discussed terminal punctuation—punctuation that ends sentences—and punctuation that is used to hang related thoughts together. In this post I'll be discussing punctuation that is used to give additional information, as in a parenthetical, punctuation that is used to pause or omit, and the almighty comma.

Onward to Commas, Em Dashes, Ellipses, Parentheses, and Square Brackets )
[identity profile]
[ profile] tejas asks: Should the sentence "Are you really sure you want to do that or would you rather live another day" end with with a period or a question mark?

Punctuation marks are cues to the reader as to how the text should sound. Commas indicate pauses, exclamation points indicate loudness or excitement, and question marks indicate the rise or fall of voice that comes with a question. Click here for the breakdown, with some examples from Stargate: SG-1. )


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