Punctuation and Parens

When you are using parens for the insertion of a blurb — e.g., (indicating) — the rule is as follows: When the information inside the parens is the entire thought, it is capped, and the punctuation goes inside; when the information inside the parens is part of a larger thought, it is lowercase, and the punctuation goes outside. …Q     Where …

“Social Security” or Without the Caps

Except for “Social Security Administration,” there is no need to cap “social security.” It is not necessarily wrong to do so. It is just not necessary. …received social security… …social security check… …raise in social security… Happy punctuating! Margie

“Everyday” or “Every Day”?

As one word, everyday comes in front of a noun and means “ordinary,” “routine,” “habitual,” or “commonplace.” Otherwise, it is every day. …It is an everyday job. …She had those everyday tasks that drove her crazy. …I was there every day last week. …Will you do that every day? Happy punctuating! Margie

A Dash or a Hyphen?

Just a quick note to get some terminology cleared up: The dash in formal English is a long mark, called the “em” dash, that is flush against the word on either side. In court reporting, back in the “carbon paper days,” we had only a typewriter, and it did not have the em dash, the long mark. So we decided …

Words in the Middle of the Year

When a year is interrupted by a word or two, the English rule says to write out the number in words. That is always the fallback position. However, as always in reporting, numbers written in words do not always serve us well. Let’s perhaps consider a new way to do it. …during 19-, maybe, -98… …after 19-, probably, -63… I …

Sequential References

A sequential reference is a number that is part of a series of numbers, which usually follows the word that designates what the number is referring to. We consider a number to be “sequential” when it is in a series. If you live in Apartment 5, there is an assumption that there are Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4. This …

Two Spaces or One?

There is one space after a period and a colon when you are using a variable font; there are two spaces after a period and colon when you are using a monofont. In reporting, we generally use a monofont.The two spaces before the ZIP is an affectation and was never part of the formal language. The ZIP has one space …

If You Do Not Have the Document…

If someone is reading from a document and you do NOT have that document to look at when you are preparing your transcript, you are not going to insert any quotes. There are a couple of ways to handle this. If the material is lengthy, it should be blocked according to the format used in your area. The words [Reading] …

The Comma of Omission

There is a rule for commas called the “comma of omission.” There are two parts to the rule.1. When two sentences are parallel and have no conjunction between them, they are joined by a semicolon. When the verb is left out of the second one, use a comma to show the verb is missing.…John earned $4,000; June earned $6,000.…John earned …