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10

Actually, both commas should be removed from that sentence. The first one is a comma splice; it should be removed and replaced with a period, to create two complete sentences. That alone will help break up your unwieldy passage and make it easier to read. The second comma should be removed because you don't put punctuation after the conjunction near the end ...


7

Punctuation marks, like words and paragraph breaks, are tools. Overuse of any tool will make your writing inelegant, but using the proper tool at the right time will help you generate pages that are well crafted and precisely assembled. In fiction, as in other kinds of writing, you'll still want to use the em dash to indicate interruptions, performing a ...


7

I think the ellipses are fine, but I agree with the comment from the original site that italics would work as well. But neither one really shows a question, to my reading. If you mean for someone to be emphasizing 'different', I'd use italics. "He's a different sort of person. Not like the others at all." If you mean for someone to be using ...


7

How many commas is too many? When they're incorrectly used. There are four principal uses for a comma – As a listing comma in replace of words such as and, or etc. As a joining comma in joining two sentences together with and, or etc. As a gapping comma to show that words have been removed instead of repeated. As a bracketing (or isolating) comma to ...


5

Your co-writer is a pain in the tuchus. I am sorry you have to put up with this annoying quirk of writing. That being said, I found two references so far: The Oxford Dictionaries: Bullet points are visually attractive and make it easy for a reader to locate important information. Nevertheless, try to use them sparingly: too many bullet-pointed sections ...


5

...actually, so far as I know, one does not have stylistic freedom in using single or double quotes as one pleases. (Not in prose, anyway — all bets are off in poetry.) In American English, dialogue or other quoted material goes in double quotes: "There is no fate but what we make," she said. Quoted material inside a quote goes in single quotes: ...


5

Punctuation marks where invented to increase readability. So for God's sake, get rid of these semi-colons; my eyes are bleeding. If you really need the differentiation which shall be achieved with the semi-colons (comma and a non-comma-punctuation-mark), I would suggest parentheses: Speakers at tomorrow's conference include James T. Smith (vice ...


5

Do parentheses inhibit clarity? They do and they don't, it's all down to individual use. When used well and skillfully, parentheses fulfill a function that no other punctuation or construction can quite imitate. Their function is similar to em dashes (a woefully overused punctuation mark) and can also be used to mask off digressions (which can detract from ...


4

In dialogues (or monologues, or any transcriptions), commas are used for two reasons: 1- Logical separators as in formal grammar and; 2- to indicate oral pauses whether grammatically correct or not. Dashes (–) and ellipses (…) can also be used this way, usually at at a line's end. So, I'd say that if you are reciting the pledge itself as content then the ...


4

I like what Theodore Bernstein says in "The Careful Writer" (original copyright 1965): There is some evidence that the use of parentheses has become more common in modern writing, particularly in critical and expository writing. Parentheses seem almost to have become a mark of "sophisticated," knowing style. They do have their uses in simplifying ...


4

First off, if you're writing for the government they might have a format they expect, so if so and it says something on this point, it wins. Otherwise, I would not use colons in any of your titles or paragraphs. The colon's job is to introduce what follows (e.g. in a list), but a title/subtitle/subsubtitle/etc structure already provides that implicitly. ...


4

I like to say that much of the time when people use a comma, they really just want to use a period but don't know it. Elmore Leonard says that an exclamation point should not be used more than once per hundred thousand characters; I feel a similar rule should exist for commas. But, of course, Elmore Leonard doesn't make the rules and neither do I ...


4

I haven't checked what the classic style guides say on this, but my personal practice is that in such cases, I capitalize what comes after the colon. If each "point" is long enough to be its own paragraph, then I make the first one its own paragraph also. Like: A hypothetical solution might be set up like this: First, we can use a table to record ...


4

When you have "bullet points," the character you use for the bullet is irrelevant. If you can't mix full sentences and fragments with bullets, you can't mix them with "hyphen points" either. So the same rules apply. • Free shipping on orders over $25 is the same as ~ Free shipping on orders over $25 There's no difference in regards to punctuation or ...


4

This is very much a style issue. I'll share what I'd do but it may not work for you at all. Brenda Ueland's writing style (specifically in If You Want to Write) taught me that most times I want to put in a comma or other spacing punctuation I'm better off with nothing, or a period. I'll be combining this with Strunk's admonishment that "rich, ornate prose ...


4

When writing a list like this, you have several options for how you want to style the text. In business writing, such as an email, you can always format this as a bulleted list: Please send the email to the following recipients: Jason, Chief Information Officer Sarah, President Courtney, Investor This has the advantage of being ...


3

I think that's the default in Spanish; I grew up reading stuff written that way, and I find the quotes... strange. I do use it a lot to add description to the dialogue. The way I use it slightly different to yours, though: Rick and Nelly walked through the cathedral. -- It always makes me feel cold when I come here, - he said shivering. - I think ...


3

I don't think there's any simple metric. Like, no one can say you should have twenty-seven commas per page or anything like that. The first question would be, Do you have commas in inappropriate places? If you have sentences like, "Bob walked, to, the store, slowly" then yes, there are too many commas. But a sentence that contains a list could legitimately ...


3

(I'm answering this from a point-of-view of readability. If your corporate communications are subject to any internal style sheets or style guide such as AP or Chicago - since you have a policy on the serial comma, I'm inclined to think they are - please also consult those. If this does get migrated to English, you'll doubtless get all kinds of more ...


3

Ok, lemme take a couple stabs at it. First idea: Jamie had a 8 am flight that morning. Usually, we'd tag-team the morning rituals with the girls -- waking them, feeding them, and dressing them together. But Jamie had to leave just after 6 to catch that flight, so it all fell to me. Note the change from "something" to "morning rituals". I think ...


3

I could reword this for you ten million ways, but a better answer would be that you should do it yourself. When you need to break down a horrific run-on sentence, just separate out the different things you want to say and try reordering them in a handful of ways with different comma and period placements. If the first five wordings don't work, make five ...


3

As always, the golden rules: be consistent; do what your style guide tells you to do. For example, Chicago Style dictates that you must not have spaces before and after the em dash, while AP Style dictates that you should have spaces before and after, except when used to introduce items in a vertical list. (See this article for more information.) If you ...


3

No, because the dash (which should properly be an M-dash, like this — ) is an interrupter. You can use it at the end of a broken-off phrase, or if a sentence is interrupted, but you need some kind of narration in between. examples: "Why don't you go and ask him to help you? He's a really nice guy," Peter added. "Why don't you go and ask him ...


2

Personally, I wouldn't use punctuation to indicate the tone change at all. Punctuation marks are like modifiers - use them too often and they loose their effect. This is commonly acknowledged with the exclamation point especially, but holds true for many and perhaps all punctuation marks, with the possible exception of the period and quote marks during ...


2

Use this one (without the semicolons): James T. Smith, vice president of widgets at WidgetCo, Mary Holmes, chief foo officer at FoobRUs, Sheldon DeVane, head of global placeholding at RiMelioraDies Inc., and Lisa Catera, chief lending officer at Plugitin Motors, will be speaking at tomorrow's conference. It is grammatical and understandable, even if not ...


2

You say the first example "suffers from the fluidity problem." That is because it was meant to suffer from the fluidity problem. It is a kind of anacoluthon—usually set off by dashes—which is an intentional break in sentence construction, meant to disrupt the flow for a rhetorical effect. In the second case, parentheses offer a quick way to add information ...


2

If you're writing a poem, you are allowed to throw pretty much all the rules out the window. You can eschew just punctuation, just capitalization, both, split the difference per stanza or per line, whatever works to convey your meaning. If it's significant to you as the poet that the city name should be capitalized, then capitalize it. If you've removed ...


2

It's a sign of a poor writer if they have to use color and weird visual hints and the likes to express nuances of the scene on regular basis. There are writers who can use that skillfully and for real impact (bows to sir Pratchett with his full-page "YES") but even they use it sparingly - or all the impact will be lost. Thing is, if you go into too ...


2

Another thought on this question: by quoting your own character's poetry, you're also making a comment on her poetry. Is she a "good" poet? Is her style sentimental, form-bound, what kinds of metaphors does she tend to choose (urban life, the natural world, outer space, etc.), does she tend to push the envelope or is she pretty conventional? If you think ...


1

There is no question here. You are setting out to describe a solution or process in steps. A series of sentences ending with periods is a perfectly legitimate way to do that. There will be no confusion where the process ends because the reader will continue until the content suggests the solution is complete. Also, you have written 'First,' which will ...



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