The correct and appropriate usage of punctuation.

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7
votes
2answers
879 views

Should I be using commas to suggest/enforce cadence?

I always think of commas as indicating pauses in speech, and vice versa. So I was surprised the other day when I saw somebody's typed-out Pledge of Allegiance, which looked like this: "I pledge ...
1
vote
0answers
292 views

Parenthetical phrases within dialog [closed]

I'm curious about the history and use of parenthetical phrases within dialog. I offer two contrasting examples: An example of an "unvoiced" parenthetical phrase inside dialog from Pride and ...
1
vote
6answers
817 views

Do parentheses inhibit clarity?

I find it easier to write many things with parentheses, but I don't know if this is considered good practice. I would expect some might say that parentheses are indicative of excessive digression and ...
1
vote
2answers
725 views

Should I put colons with second-level titles?

I'm writing a documentation for an eGovernment project, so the document I'm writing is a scientific document. It contains some big ideas, each having some subideas, with each subidea having a number ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

A tricky serial semi-colon

A serial comma is used to separate a list of items: For breakfast, we had ham, eggs, and toast. A serial semi-colon is used when items in the list have commas: For breakfast, we had ham, ...
2
votes
1answer
499 views

When to use single quotes in narrative writing?

I understand there's a certain element of stylistic freedom in using quotes, double quotes, or neither. But what are the specific cases when single quotes are generally recommended?
4
votes
6answers
689 views

Need help to rephrase this sentence to prevent a run-on

I'm writing a narrative and am having a problem structuring the order of events. Here is what I have: Jamie had an 8 am flight so she was out of the house just after 6. Leaving me to wake up, ...
3
votes
3answers
849 views

How would one use punctuation to indicate tone changes?

I'm imagining this sort of statement: He's a... different... sort of person, I suppose. Some people would pronounce 'different' in that sentence as though it was followed by a question mark, but ...
1
vote
1answer
164 views

Please advise on this comma among semi-colons and provide a more concise sentence

I created this question for two reasons: I want to know if it is proper to place a comma after the word and (in bold) below. This sentence is kind of clunky, like many of my sentences, and it helps ...
19
votes
4answers
7k views

Dashes vs. Commas vs. parentheses?

Occasionally I write sentences containing subparts with extra information. I never know how to block off this information from the rest of the sentence. Three ways I have seen are dashes, commas, and ...