Questions tagged [punctuation]

The correct and appropriate usage of punctuation.

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1answer
24 views

Grammar and punctuation check [closed]

Have I made any grammar errors in the below sentences? We use best combination technologies, services and solutions to meet our customers’ business and IT requirements, and they trust us to augment ...
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1answer
45 views

Semicolon Usage

Would a semicolon be used in the following instance? Looking for alternatives to using 'as I did this' or 'while I did that' lines. I should probably just be using a comma, but please let me know ...
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0answers
15 views

Conventions for Embedding Quotes in Analytical Essays [closed]

I wanted to confirm a few conventions for adding quotes into a literary analysis essay. If you change the capitalization in a quote, you put brackets around the first character: On the other hand, ...
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1answer
53 views

Punctuation in direct speech with multiple sentences

The information I found on using punctuation marks in direct speech did not address doing so with multiple sentences. For example, I want to write four sentences with direct speech with reporting ...
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4answers
125 views

If you're writing a story where the location is based in the USA, should you adapt your spelling to the American way, rather than British?

If an Australian writer writes a story based in America or another country that uses American English, should you change your spelling to American English, or continue using British English? Is this ...
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1answer
25 views

Punctuation of a quote inside parentheses - MLA

I was wondering how to properly format a quote inside parentheses in MLA. So far I have mostly used the third option, although the double parentheses seem a bit ugly. example: 1) He directs his ...
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0answers
47 views

Em-dashes and interrupting one's own dialogue within the same quote

I am looking for an example of a specific dialogue interruption case. I've been putting a following space my entire life, an editor just told me it doesn't belong, neither of us can cite a guide ...
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0answers
24 views

How to punctuate the phrase at end of this sentence - With arms crossed he looked as if to say is that all you have, big boy? [closed]

How to punctuate the phrase at end of this sentence - With arms crossed he looked as if to say is that all you have, big boy?
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1answer
66 views

Use of quotations when introducing a character alias

Should the following aliases be enclosed in quotations? I believe it may be down to personal preference and I prefer this format, but keen to opinions. His name is Dave, "The Dude", and he's a ...
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4answers
89 views

Do you include punctuation when a character cuts off in dialogue?

So I have a question concerning punctuation. Let's say that Character A is talking to Character B. Character A, like most people, doesn't always speak in complete sentences (think about when people ...
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2answers
62 views

Comma or not after subordinate clause at the beginning of a sentence

I have a sentence with a structure similar to this one: "When advertisers try to influence the beliefs of consumers about the effects of products they face a tradeoff." I cannot decide whether I ...
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9answers
10k views

Should an emoji come before or after a full-stop? 🤔

When I make a hilarious joke on social media it's easy to put an emoji/emoticon/smiley on the end. 😀 But sometimes I want to set the context and make a more reasoned argument over a paragraph or so. ...
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1answer
50 views

How to quote an inanimate object

When I write something that an object, like a clock, says should it be as though I was referring to a character talking (e.g. The clock read "1:13") or without the quotation marks? Thank you!
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2answers
95 views

How do you transcribe a person's tone (i.e. someone whose speech is rude and/or attacking)?

I've been having great difficulty with transcribing an individuals "tone" in my meeting notes!! For context: Recently I've been charged with transcribing an incredibly tense litigious meeting. My ...
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1answer
60 views

Emphatic pronoun question

I'm curious as to why an emphatic pronoun isn't set off by commas. For example, "I, myself, completed the puzzle." Thanks!
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2answers
78 views

Italicizing dialogue punctuation

I know CMOS 17 section 6.2 says, "All punctuation marks should appear in the same font—roman or italic—as the main or surrounding text, except for punctuation that belongs to a title in a different ...
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3answers
117 views

The use of elipses in writing a novel

I am a little confused and need some help in clearing things up. In writing dialogue and the speaker pauses how do you show this. Now, from my understanding you use ellipses(...). If this is true, how ...
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1answer
40 views

Punctuation in non-period bullets list

Desktop-publishing question: For example, in the bulleted text with non-period-at-the-end writing style, is it proper to eventually use a few sentences for one of the bullets with a period mark in-...
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1answer
57 views

How to translate written shorthand to dialogue

I have a character who's going to answer a question with "Either/or." She pronounces it simply either or, but I know some people pronounce the slash itself sometimes. How do I indicate explicitly how ...
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1answer
126 views

How to punctuate dialogue interrupted by action

I am writing a novel and I am trying to find the best write a person being interrupted in speech by something they see. Example is below: Fahad is the person talking and as he talks he sees a vicious ...
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5answers
832 views

Questions with flat tone in dialogue

I'm sure we have all heard people say questions without putting the tone inflection on the end. I am writing a novel and I have a piece of dialogue where a character says: “Why are you here.” ...
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2answers
67 views

Punctuation assistance with complicated list of titles during a formal greeting

I'm working on a scene in a high-fantasy setting where the main characters greet each other for the first time. Part of the greeting is also a definition of what each of the characters mean to each ...
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4answers
580 views

Is a new paragraph line needed in dialogue when a character responds with actions?

For example: "Move!" I immediately side stepped him. OR "Move!" I immediately side stepped him. I know a new line of paragraph is needed for each speaker, but does the same rule apply in this ...
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4answers
3k views

Proofreading a novel: is it okay to use a question mark with an exclamation mark - “?!”

Is it ever acceptable to use an exclamation mark following a question mark? I am proofreading a novel and have been instructed to make no stylistic changes, only errors that impede sense/clarity. The ...
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2answers
162 views

Proofreading a novel: when should exclamation marks be used?

I'm proofreading a novel - the brief has instructed that I do not make any stylistic changes, and correct only the obvious errors that impede sense/clarity. There are several places where I feel an ...
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2answers
1k views

What are the rules for punctuating a conversation?

Are there hard and fast rules for characters speaking to each other? As far as quotations, or without them? Are they hinged inside a paragraph or ruled to only be in a talking string?
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6answers
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Should you only use colons and full stops in dialogues?

Should you only use colons and full stops in dialogues? I thought about using a semi-colon in one of my dialogues, but I had second thought about it, because when we talk, we don't really ...
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1answer
49 views

Specific MLA Question on In-Text Citation

How do I format an in-text citation in MLA format when the sentence ends as a parenthesis? For example: Stuart Appleby won three races in his career (but lost all others) (Fredricks 23). It looks ...
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1answer
137 views

Where should question marks be put in fragmented lines of poems?

For example, in the lines: Say what good really is a life, When so thoroughly deprived of joy Is my restless mind, Hurting constantly, in a dreadful strife? When it needs so many lies, ...
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2answers
1k views

Ending a line of dialogue with “?!”: Allowed or obnoxious?

A dialogue of mine contains the following sentence: "You fired all three of them?!" Trouble is, I'm not sure I've ever seen a novel that used a question mark and an exclamation point together - it'...
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4answers
3k views

Use of punctuation in song lyrics?

https://fireemblem.fandom.com/wiki/The_Edge_of_Dawn_(Seasons_of_Warfare) The following is the short version of "The Edge of Dawn". Reach for my hand, I'll soar away Into the dawn Oh,...
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2answers
129 views

Is it acceptable to punctuate and capitalize a dialogue tag like a separate sentence?

When a piece of writing has a quoted sentence followed by a dialogue tag, the sentence is usually ended with a comma (inside the quotation marks) and the dialogue tag is in sentence case, like this: &...
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2answers
268 views

Using ”as” after dialogue tags

Should a comma be used after a dialogue tag and before the word ”as”. For example: ”I don’t like this at all, ” he said, as the door closed behind them. Or ”I don’t like this at all, ” he said ...
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1answer
117 views

Are there stylistic overlaps between novels and comic books? [closed]

I am going to quote from a novel that in my opinion shows many stylistic overlaps of novels and comic books: The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey. I am holding that novel in my hand now. The use of a lot of ...
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3answers
5k views

Why am I getting a strange double quote (“) in Open Office instead of the ordinary one (")?

Why am I getting a strange double quote (“) in Open Office instead of the ordinary one (")? Every time I type the double quote, I get the weird version instead of the ordinary one. How do I get the ...
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2answers
123 views

Grammar of, in dialogue, someone quickly negating a previous word?

For example, let's say that someone says a word, but then immediately "corrects" it to a different word. Do you use a comma, an em dash, or what? In addition, if it's at the beginning of a ...
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5answers
4k views

When writing an error prompt, should we end the sentence with a exclamation mark or a dot?

When writing an error prompt, should we end the sentence with a exclamation mark or a dot? I am writing an application for iPhone and I have some error prompt in my application like "Your password ...
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2answers
121 views

Are there specific rules about caesura that restrict us where we can place them?

A caesura is a slight pause that's important in poetry, because for example alexandrines require a caesura in the middle. But the question is where can we put them. I know that we tend to put them ...
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1answer
35 views

End punctuation when using quotation marks [duplicate]

When do you put the end punctuation of a sentence inside or outside of quotation marks including the last word of the sentence?
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4answers
278 views

How would you write dialog in a 1st person story?

I'm a novice writer working on my first book. I've made the story 1st person from the perspective of the main character. The way I've been writing dialog goes as such: C1: "So, where are you guys ...
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1answer
64 views

Punctuating narration [closed]

In a passage of narration, how would one punctuate the following sentence? Italics or quotation marks? The boy walks across the living room as words like weapons, barricades and deployments pass ...
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1answer
85 views

Can you use a semicolon to connect fragments that are one item in a vertical list?

I'm trying to write a numbered vertical list. The items are not complete sentences. Can you use a semicolon to connect two fragments that are one item? Receive guests; entertain guests Or, should ...
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2answers
1k views

Correct punctuation for showing a character's confusion

I'm trying to show that the narration (third person limited) is being interrupted by the character's thought process, and I'm not sure what punctuation is best for this situation. So far, I've tried ...
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5answers
675 views

Elongated vowel sounds

When we speak sometimes we draw out certain sounds for emphasis. We also see this technique in song, for both emphasis as well as expanding the meter to make the words fit a certain rhythm. One way ...
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10answers
3k views

The difference between dialogue marks

Most authors use dialogue in writing, especially when writing fiction. Now, if I remember my first grade primary school correctly, dialogue can be directly separated from narration in a number of ways....
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1answer
77 views

Punctuating text messages with speaker tags in running copy

Punctuation (and spelling and capitalization) in text messages is different from punctuation in other forms of written communication (emails, memos, standard prose). In particular, punctuation, or ...
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1answer
57 views

What punctuation would you invent to solve your issues? [closed]

What punctuation is missing from English that might solve your writing issues? People may be able to come up with established ones that meet your criteria, such as the /s to indicate "that last ...
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1answer
123 views

How to write a sentence with the '=' symbol in it?

Does the following line sound okay when read out? We choose the index n=5. If not, how can I restructure it to make it a good readable sentence still with the '=' symbol? I am trying to follow ...
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2answers
175 views

Ellipses in the middle of a paragraph?

Words words words. ...Words words words words. Would having an ellipses right after a period like this be correct? If not, how would I incorporate them in? Would it be more like this?: Words words ...
2
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1answer
60 views

What are the rules for beginning a block quotation halfway into a quoted sentence?

I'm interested in the rules set by the Chicago Manual of Style. If I take a block quotation that starts with the following sentence: "To simplify: math and geometry are such and such" And if I ...

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