Where to Put the Interrog?

The rule says to put a question mark at the end of a sentence that asks a question. In reporting, our questions are not always straightforward. Attorneys add things — explanations, clarifications, suggested answers. Taking all of those into consideration, I would have us tweak the rule a bit and word it to read: Put a question mark where a …

Live Seminars Right Here in Los Angeles

Have you noticed that we don’t seem to get conventions here in Los Angeles? Why doesn’t NCRA come here? Well, we won’t go into the possible answers for that question. Instead, here you go! August in Los Angeles: It’s probably going to be hot; so some people will be at the beach or in the mountains. It’s late summer; so some …

Compound Noun and Hyphenation

When a compound noun that is two words has a prefix or suffix, hyphenate the prefix to the first word or the suffix to the last word and leave the compound noun as separate words. …pre-high school days for him… …post-Revolutionary War period… …real estate-like transaction… …social security-wide reform… Happy punctuating! Margie

The Word “Please”

The word please takes punctuation according to where it is in relation to what it modifies. At the beginning of what it modifies, it takes no punctuation after it. …Please put that notice into the bulletin. …Please state your name for the record. At the end of what it modifies, it takes a comma before it. …Put that notice into …

To Quote Thoughts or Not?

When someone is “thinking” and saying aloud what that thought might be, if he is using the exact wording he would use when saying it, yes, it should be quoted. …I said to myself, “Wow. I am in trouble now.” …I thought, “How am I going to explain this to him?” …I wondered,  “What do I do if this car …

ZIP Codes

The ZIP code does not take any punctuation in front of it. It goes with the element it follows. …Los Angeles, California 90045, is the… …live in Culver City 90230 with… The comma after the ZIP code is because the word “California” has to be surrounded. So you just tuck the ZIP in there with it. Happy punctuating. Margie