Category Archives: Punctuation

Where do you hyphenate “architecture?”


Someone came to Writing, Clear and Simple using the phrase “where do you hyphenate architecture” as the search term. I have written about hyphenation and line breaks before (“From the mailbag: How do you hyphenate that?“), but since it’s been … Continue reading

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Does “resume” need accent marks?


Via Grammar Girl’s Twitter feed, Baltimore Sun editor John McIntyre addresses the question of including accent marks in words like resume: As for resume, it is awkward that there is a completely different word with the same spelling, but the … Continue reading

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Periods and Commas and Quotation Marks: In or Out?


The rules of punctuation can often be likened to the Pirate’s Code, as described by Captain Barbossa in the movie The Pirates of The Caribbean: “…the code is more what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules.” Nowhere is this clearer … Continue reading

Posted in Polls, Punctuation, Style manual, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

In praise of the period


The period is the stop sign of the punctuation world. By providing a boundary, a period delineates a thought. Its presence divides and its absence connects. To employ it is to make a statement; to leave it out, equally so. … Continue reading

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Pauses and omissions: Using ellipses


The dot-dot-dot thing you use when you want to indicate a pause in dialog, or and omission in a quotation? You know, like this: “The chocolate-coated kippers were . . . interesting.” That’s called an ellipsis. (The plural is ellipses.) … Continue reading

Posted in Elsewhere on the Web, Good advice from here and there, Punctuation, Style manual | 3 Comments

Questions that people think Google can answer


I occasionally occassionally browse through my referral logs to see what sort of search terms people used to find this site. Some of the time, it’s clear that they find an article that answers their questions. For example, I constantly … Continue reading

Posted in Grammar, Humor, Punctuation, Quotations, Style manual | 9 Comments

Small details matter: Don’t put apostrophes where they don’t belong


It’s just a little apostrophe, right? What difference does it make? Just ask a fellow North Dakotan, Julie Neidlinger. In a post about a movie called Jesus Camp, she says: One point I want to make is in regards to … Continue reading

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Punctuation matters: What do you do with a semicolon?


The semicolon—sometimes called the love child of the comma and the period—must be an important punctuation mark. After all, the designer of the typewriter keyboard put it on the home row, right under your right pinkie.* But it isn’t like … Continue reading

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Thought about your punctuation lately?


Have you given much thought to punctuation lately?  I thought not. Novel Journey scored an interview with Noah Lukeman, author of  A Dash of Style: The Art and Mastery of Punctuation, who had this to say: For most writers, punctuation … Continue reading

Posted in Elsewhere on the Web, Punctuation, Quotations | 5 Comments

A bit more on the comma


In the last post, I said that commas are used to indicate the separate items in a list. That function is just an extension of the comma’s basic purpose, which is to show where a sentence’s joints are: where introductory, … Continue reading

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