Abbreviations and the Past Tense

When you have an abbreviation that is used as a verb in the past tense, add just apostrophe d. …He was ID’d immediately. …The report showed that he had OD’d. For the –ing ending, use the full ending. …They are ID’ing him as we speak. Happy punctuating! Margie

Singular Possessive

Add apostrophe “s” to the singular form of the word to make it possessive — without regard to pronunciation or spelling. This is the simplest and most consistent way to deal with these forms. …Mr. Wells’s car… …one witness’s answer… …Ms. Schwartz’s house… Happy punctuating! Margie

The Hyphen for an Incomplete Number

Formal English rules say that an incomplete number should be written out in words. …I think you said you made four or five hundred dollars. Combined with the consistency rule, this presents some issues in a reporting transcript. When there are other numbers in the same sentence or area of the transcript, it is simply not practical to write everything …

The Leading Question

When the attorney asks a question and then suggests an answer, put a question mark for both. …What time did he arrive? 10:00? …Who completed the final report? Tom Hindry? …What color was the other car? Black? Happy punctuating! Margie

The Word “Now”

When the word now means “at this time” or “currently,” it is an adverb and takes no punctuation. When it has no meaning and is just a throwaway, a “filler-type” word, it takes commas around it. …I now want to discuss the fight that took place. …Have you now seen the doctor about this problem? …Did you say, now, that …

The Word “What”

The word “what” is an interrogative — asks a question — pronoun. In the normal word order, it is, of course, “What was it?” When the sentence is turned around, it is just “bad grammar,” and it still takes an interrog. …What was it? A fracture? …It was what? A fracture? …What was it? A Toyota? …It was a what? …

“Do you know?” and Others

When a question like “Do you know?” or “Do you recall?” is tacked on at the end of another question, use an interrog for both questions. …How close were you to the edge of the road? Do you know? …What time was it that he arrived? Do you remember? …Where was he stationed? Do you recall? Happy punctuating! Margie