That Pesky Word “So”

The rules for “so”:

When it means “so that” and implies the reason for doing something, it begins a dependent clause which, at the end of the sentence, gets no punctuation.

…I sent it to her so I could get her opinion on the content.
…He called so he could verify the information.

When it means “therefore,” it starts a new sentence and gets a semicolon or period in front of it.

…I didn’t know; so I couldn’t really do anything about it.
…She was underage; so there was no question of whether she was allowed into the event.

I know that there are people that support the idea that “so” can be just like “and” and “but.” I don’t think it is the same kind of word. “So” is really an adverb. And when an adverb is pulled out in front of a sentence, it becomes a conjunction and is called a “conjunctive adverb.” A conjunctive adverbs begins a brand-new sentence and needs a semicolon or a period in front of it.

Happy punctuating!

Margie

And If the Letter-for-Letter Spelling Is Interrupted…

There is a question about the blog from earlier in the week: What happens when the spelling is interrupted or picks up midword?

It is important to remember that the hyphen goes with the letter that follows it, not with the letter in front of it. (Otherwise, there would be a hyphen in front of the first letter of the spelling. Think about it.) So if there is an interruption and the spelling continues, it looks like this:

…My name is Russell, R-u-s-e — -s-s-e-l-l.
…It is Jaffe. That is -f-f-e.

The spelling which is midword starts with a hyphen before the  letter.

Happy punctuating!

Margie

Letter-for-Letter Spelling

The “rule” for letter-for-letter spelling is that the spelling should look exactly like the word/words when they are written normally — same punctuation, same capitalization.

…Robert Hendricks, R-o-b-e-r-t H-e-n-d-r-i-c-k-s
…John van Leeuwen, J-o-h-n v-a-n L-e-e-u-w-e-n
…JoAnne Martin, J-o-A-n-n M-a-r-t-i-n

Happy punctuating!

Margie