“Not Only”…”But Also”

“Not only/but (also)” is one of the correlative coordinate conjunctions. It connects grammatically equal parts. The word “also” is often left out or moved to a later position in the sentence, and it doesn’t make any difference whether it is there or not. When this combination links two sentences, there is a comma before the “but.” When it links anything …

Prefixes: Solid Words or Hyphenated?

The rule is that a prefix is added to the front of a word to make a solid word. …preordained …postprandial …overrated …underfed However, when there is already a word that has a different meaning, the prefix should be hyphenated. This usually occurs with the prefix re-. …He decided the only choice was to resign. …We returned to the bank …

Made-Up Words

When a word is made up but it has a normal, regular English spelling, put a pair of quotes around it rather than using sic or verbatim to point it out as an error. …She was just acting “obliviated.” …It had been “dramastically” reduced. The quotes act to signal that something is different about the word but do not point …

Thousands

Numbers in the thousands are expressed in figures with a comma and can never be a combination of figures and words. …sent 45,000… …received 133,000 of them… …offered 50,000 for it… Whether the number is said “fifteen hundred” or “one thousand five hundred,” the comma is inserted. …sent 1,500… …received 3,400… …offered 2,100… Happy punctuating! Margie

Plurals of Names

When a surname has the word the in front of it, the name has to be plural — without regard to how it is pronounced. …The Millers have a new car. …We spent the time with the Wilsons. There is no exception  when the name ends in s or z. Bill and I together are “the Wellses,” not “the Wells.” …

/seed/ Words

(Think this may have gone out earlier, but I want to make sure.) There are twelve words in the language that end with the sound “seed.” There are three different spellings for that sound: -sede, -ceed, and -cede. Here is the breakdown: supersede (the ONLY word in the language with this spelling) exceed, succeed, proceed (acroynym ESP to help you …

Noun Clause as the Subject

Take a look at this next to yesterday’s blog. Don’t get them confused. When a noun clause is the subject of the sentence, do not separate it from the verb with punctuation. …Whether he is attending is not my concern. …Whether he is attending the conference on the effects of caffeine on children that is to take place later this …