“I Believe” — Subject and Verb or Parenthetical?

When words like “I believe” and “I think” begin a sentence, they are functioning as the subject and verb in the sentence and take no punctuation.

…I believe he called in a little before 3:00.
…I think he was with us for ten years.

When they are in the middle of the sentence, they are parentheticals and need commas around them.

…He called in, I believe, a little before 3:00.
…He was with us, I think, for ten years.

Happy punctuating!

Margie

The Colon or the Dash

There is a place where the rule for the colon and the rule for the dash overlap, in other words, a place where each one is correct.

…There are several things to consider: money outlay, time spent, manpower involved.
…There are several things to consider — money outlay, time spent, manpower involved.

In this instance, it is really best to opt for the colon since the dash is so prevalent for interruptions. It is a chance to use the colon correctly and avoid having one more dash in the transcript.

Happy punctuating!

Margie

File Extensions

When dealing with file extensions that are said by themselves, there is a lot of variation in the way they are said. We say “JAY-PEG” and “BIT-MAP.” For the sake of consistency, it is probably best to transcribe these just as they look when they are a file extension.

…It is a .jpg file.
…I received it as a .pdf file.
…He could use only a .bmp format.

Happy punctuating!

Margie

Punctuation Creates a Run-On

To say that the “attorney talks in run-on’s” is really not a correct statement. A run-on is created by bad punctuation. No one can “say” a run-on.

Using no punctuation or a comma between two sentences that have no conjunction between them CREATES a run-on sentence.

…He looked in my direction I tried to ignore him. 🙁
…I saw him out of the corner of my eye, that’s right. 🙁

When someone connects four or five sentences with the word and, that is not a run-on.

Be careful not to create a run-on sentence with bad punctuation.

Happy punctuating!

Margie