More Hyphen Stuff…

Margie Wakeman Wells The Hyphen, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

When a prefix goes with both words in a hyphenated combination, do not add the prefix and make it solid word. Hyphenate the prefix. …In your opinion, are the non-work-related conditions also disabling to Jane? When a prefix goes with a compound that is separate words, do not add the prefix to make a solid word. Hyphenate the prefix. …Please run down …

Compound Question

Margie Wakeman Wells The Comma, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

When someone asks two questions and uses “or” in between, there are two options: Put a comma/semicolon before the “or” that separates the two sentences and a question mark at the end; or make it into two questions. When the questions are lengthy or there is a lot of other punctuation, it is probably best to break them into two …

That Confusing “S”

Margie Wakeman Wells The Apostrophe Leave a Comment

The last post on the “s” engendered more than a few questions. Here are a couple of answers. In the construction, “…one of the girl’s/girls’ phones…” or “…one of the voter’s/voters’ choices…,” the form should be plural possessive. …We were talking with one of the girls’ friends at the time. …It has to deal with one of his friends’ mothers. …

That Confusing “S”

Margie Wakeman Wells The Apostrophe, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

When a proper name ends in “s” and we have to make it plural or possessive, it seems it is always a bit jarring. There are several things to keep in mind: First, when a surname has the word “the” in front of it, it is always plural. …I saw the Cohens when I visited D.C. …The Johnsons joined us …

20-Hour Punctuation Class Begins Sunday

Margie Wakeman Wells General Leave a Comment

Good morning. Just a reminder that I am beginning a 20-hour punctuation class this coming Sunday. The ten two-hour class sessions will meet on Saturdays and/or Sundays and continue into June. This is your chance to pull all of those rules together and better understand how everything goes together. There will be a question-and-answer time in each session to discuss those …

A Little-Known Dash Rule

Margie Wakeman Wells The Comma, The Dash Leave a Comment

Besides using the dash for interruptions (broken sentence structure), there are some grammar rules that govern the use of the dash. When a pronoun refers back to one noun, use a comma in front of the pronoun; when a pronoun refers back to several nouns, use a dash in front of the pronoun. …We received several letters, each of which …

The Idea of “Essential”

Margie Wakeman Wells Essential versus Nonessential, The Comma Leave a Comment

As I have stated on other occasions, there is widespread confusion or perhaps lack of understanding of what the terms “essential” and “nonessential” mean in punctuation. I would say again: Putting a pair of commas around an element does not always mean that you can take it out of the sentence and have the sentence make sense. In other words, …

What to Do When Punctuation Is Said

Margie Wakeman Wells General Leave a Comment

When someone says the word for the punctuation mark, the decision about whether to put the word into the transcript or just the punctuation mark itself is really an editorial decision on the part of the reporter. A person says: “It is the, cap, First, cap, Amendment discussion that is important.” A person is reading from a document and says: “On …

Parentheses

Margie Wakeman Wells General Leave a Comment

Since parentheses indicate that the material inside the parens is less important than the information around it, we do not use parens to punctuation what is being said in a transcript. When there is a “blurb” inside parentheses, there are standard English rules that cover what needs to be done. If what is inside the parens is a complete grammatical …