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Questions tagged [punctuation]

The correct and appropriate usage of punctuation.

2
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1answer
38 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 ...
1
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1answer
32 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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3answers
94 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 ...
-1
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1answer
26 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 ...
3
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1answer
78 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 ...
6
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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 ...
5
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5answers
94 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....
3
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1answer
46 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 ...
0
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1answer
53 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 ...
1
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1answer
106 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 ...
2
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2answers
95 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
votes
1answer
36 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 ...
9
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2answers
2k views

When quoting, must I also copy hyphens used to divide words that continue on the next line?

I want to quote a text in which re of the word relationships is on one line while lationships is on the next, and a hyphen follows re (re-) to indicate that the word continues on the next line. When I ...
3
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1answer
51 views

Is it good formatting to bookend quotations with a comma when they occur in the middle of narration?

Consider the sample sentence below from a novel. As he stared at it, Emma announced “Its blackberry cake! It’s the best cake you’ll ever taste. Honest!” And with that, she stuffed in another big ...
5
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1answer
51 views

en dash with space for non-integer?

I have a simple question. What's the correct writing style? 1.1–8.4% or 1.1 – 8.4% Without space around an en dash looks much better for my eyes. But I read somewhere that if it is a decimal number (...
6
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4answers
116 views

'Ellipsis' - what do they convey and how to use them aptly in a Novel?

In the writing practises guides, it is usually mentioned that use of ellipsis is a bad practice. But I have come across certain usages in professional writing. To give an example; In the novel Eat ...
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3answers
113 views

End-of-line hyphenation - how should it be used?

End-of-line hyphenation is the process of breaking words between lines to create more consistency across a text block. (source) A long word is broken across a line-break by means of a hyphen. It helps ...
0
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1answer
52 views

Quick punctuation request on a sentence containing a list with a colon per listed item

This is being used within a blog article, however, I want to primp it up for use in a more public and professional platform. My intrigue pertains to grammar and punctuation of the listed items in the ...
2
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1answer
42 views

When should we use an ellipsis in a poem instead of a comma or a dot?

The quote come from the poem Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley: I met a traveller from an antique land, Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. . . . Near ...
4
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1answer
86 views

Semicolon or better prose?

Word's grammar check tells me the second sentence below requires a semicolon rather than a comma “If you don’t accept your physical limitations, you will burn out.” Elena was analytical again, the ...
5
votes
5answers
167 views

Are too many exclamations wrong?

Exclamations, I feel, are a good way to describe tone without actually writing the tone. But most of the time I end up (as per reviewers) with too many of exclamations. Many also say that too many ...
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2answers
41 views

What are good guidelines and practices for word emphasis? [closed]

I struggle on what to highlight, and when to use quote marks. I also exaggerate specific words. Example: Please Sign-out and Click "Delete my sign-in info" before logging back in. Please provide ...
1
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3answers
128 views

Why don't writers add commas to lengthy sentences, to make them far more readable?

Prof. Brooks Landon, U. Iowa, Ph.D. U. Texas at Austin. Building Great Sentences: How to Write the Kinds of Sentences You Love to Read (Great Courses) (2013). p. 124.         ...
3
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1answer
109 views

Writing a dialogue with a lot of ellipses

Is there a way to do this properly? Roxas... I need you... to do me a favor. All those hearts that I've captured... Kingdom Hearts... Set them free. This is from Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and I ...
1
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1answer
47 views

Confused about when to treat something as a dialogue tag

Background: I'm helping a friend edit their fiction. I'm frequently left confused on anything related to dialogue tags. “Yes, but I mean no,” Steve stumbles over his words. “Not the come home ...
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2answers
92 views

How to punctuate dialogue tags with action descriptions

Someone told me that it's incorrect or outdated punctuation to put a comma after "said" in dialogue tags such as the following (from an old book we're reprinting): “I shouldn’t wonder if you could ...
1
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1answer
30 views

Dots in lists with mixed-width items

It is common to omit end-dots in lists with very short items: Shop list: * Milk * Bread * Probably eggs It is common to use end-dots in lists with long descriptive items: Things which should be ...
3
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1answer
47 views

How to refer to complex job titles in cover letters?

Sometimes job listings use slashes and hyphens in the title of the job to specify specialties or other job characteristics. For instance, here are two listings on stack exchange: Data Scientist - ...
0
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1answer
100 views

Punctuating dialogue that is interrupted by thoughts/internal monologue rather than action?

So I've got a bit: Alta blinked. She pushed on, smiling, “—the argument. When the argument succeeds, which I still don’t fully deem, even after that—it looks to me like you’ve still got to do all ...
6
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7answers
3k views

Is it okay to use a lot of exclamation marks?

I've noticed that I use a lot of exclamation marks when my characters are talking. They appear a lot in action scenes. Is there any rule of thumb when using exclamation marks?
5
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2answers
86 views

Parentheses in scientific writing

I occasionally use parentheses in scientific writing when a piece of information is related to a previous statement but not to the central story. Is it bad style in scientific writing to use ...
3
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1answer
97 views

Punctuation when using inline dialogue

I am a bit crazy about punctuation and I have a question that I'm struggling to find a consensus on. For dialogue (especially in fiction), I always use the standard format: "I told you I wanted ...
2
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1answer
86 views

Should 'Oz' be in Quotation Marks if not Quoting Him? APA Format

I am mentioning "Oz" from the "Wizard of Oz" in my APA formatted paper. I'm not quoting him but just making a reference to his all knowingness. Do I put Oz in quotation marks or just leave it ...
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5answers
2k views

Eliminating the Dash in Prose Writing

I have been accused — shock, horror — of using the dash (the one that indicates a three-quarters pause) too much in my fiction. Thing is — I quite like the effect (the space inserted in sentences by ...
9
votes
1answer
158 views

What is the name of the technique where quotation marks are not closed but reopened to indicate a break in speech

The wizard slid the application over to the goblin. "I'm afraid, Mister Barnes, we cannot accept your letter of resignation at present. You are simply too ugly to qualify for an exit scheme, and ...
2
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0answers
334 views

Clarifying English Writing Conventions [closed]

I need example and usage of the following. "but" - I seen it used but without comma, but after comma, and new sentence with But. What's the proper way to use it. "However" - I seen it used start of a ...
3
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4answers
124 views

Trying to figure out the correct type punctuation for dialogues

I'm currently writing a story which so far is going well, but I reached a point in the story where I don't know how to proceed. When a character is talking, I write their dialogue just like this: "...
8
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2answers
146 views

What is the correct way to use semicolons vs. commas vs. em dashes?

In Sabriel by Garth Nix, near the beginning of Chapter Two, there is the following sentence: Anything powerful enough to cross the Wall usually retained enough magic to assume the shape of a soldier; ...
3
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3answers
96 views

Properly punctuate a quote

I am trying to learn to properly punctuate a quote, for example If I have I said "Let us go" and we left. Do I put a comma before or after the quote? Do I put a period after the word go before ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

Do former names of companies go in quotation marks or in italics?

I understand that current companies, like Google, do not go in italics or quotes. However, I am editing an article with a sentence that says, "Founded in 1880 as 'The Bucyrus Foundry and ...
0
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2answers
122 views

What is the rule for commas?

How many commas is too many commas? For example: By looking at our data we can see a clear pattern, or trend, in our data that, as the steepness of the inclined plane increases, the effort force ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Question mark in use with colon

Do you use a question mark in hand when you use a colon, if yes how? I Will Fix Any Error Or Bug is the title of the service. Should I place the order in: I Will Fix Any Error Or Bug Should ...
7
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4answers
165 views

Capitalization after use of colon?

This is a sentence from a current writing project detailing how people in jail feel about reading. It provides an escape from the reality of what lies before them: time. Should "time" be capitalized?...
6
votes
3answers
133 views

Which is the correct way to punctuate this dialogue with ellipses?

Below are four alternate dialogues that I am confused between. I'd like to know which is the correctly punctuated one. Also please explain how to use ellipses in a dialogue which is interrupted by a ...
3
votes
3answers
357 views

In first person narrative, is it acceptable to end rhetorical questions with a period?

In first person narrative, would it be acceptable to use a period in place of a question mark when the narrator is asking a rhetorical question? example: My car broke down again. Why does this always ...
3
votes
1answer
417 views

Where does the question mark go in Harvard Referencing when quoting a question with a citation at the end of a sentence (not itself a question)?

If I am quoting a question, and the quotation comes at the end of a sentence with a citation, where does the question mark go? I have been told that question marks (and full stops) should come after ...
5
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3answers
251 views

How to express sarcasm in non-dialogue text?

You know how sometimes we say something sarcastically, and do the double-finger twitch that's supposed to symbolize quotation marks? How do you write that in non-dialogue text (narration)? Not ...
3
votes
1answer
85 views

Words and Phrases Used as Words

The Chicago Manual of Style: When a word or term is not used functionally but is referred to as the word or term itself, it is either italicized or enclosed in quotation marks. Proper nouns ...
2
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1answer
231 views

Dash and space usage for dialogue interruptions, stuttering, starting over

I'm hoping for guidance on several very similar situations, which I suspect are all meant to be punctuated and spaced differently. Stuttering How would you write someone stuttering out the word "you"...