You Cannot “Talk” in Run-Ons

Margie Wakeman Wells General Leave a Comment

Some people have been making this statement: “The attorney just keeps talking in run-ons.” He said, “We were together, AND she seemed to be distracted, BUT I didn’t say anything to her at the time. AND it was beginning to be irritating, BUT I didn’t want to cause a scene.” When people go on and on and decide to insert …

A Note on “Yes” and “No”

Margie Wakeman Wells General Leave a Comment

When “yes” or “no” is repeated, there are two options: periods or commas. If we want to get technical, if the words are repeated quickly with no pauses, use commas; if the words are said distinctly with pauses in between, use periods. I think this is an OWCATS situation. If you like, choose one option and use it all the …

A Different Meaning for the Period or Semicolon Before “Is That Correct?”

Margie Wakeman Wells The Period, The Semicolon 3 Comments

Deciding to use a period versus a semicolon before “Is that correct?” and expecting your reader to distinguish that they mean something different is an exercise in extreme subtlety. This distinction has been pushed around out there for a long time. …You testified that he arrived at 9:00; is that correct? — meaning is it correct that you testified to this?  …You testified that he …

Two Spaces or One?

Margie Wakeman Wells General Leave a Comment

There is one space after a period and a colon when you are using a variable font; there are two spaces after a period and colon when you are using a monofont. In reporting, we generally use a monofont.The two spaces before the ZIP is an affectation and was never part of the formal language. The ZIP has one space …

Starting a Sentence with “And,” “But,” “Or,” “Nor”

Margie Wakeman Wells General Leave a Comment

There is no English rule that says a sentence cannot begin with and, but, or, nor. I truly believe the idea that this is a rule starts in elementary school, where we all hooked a bunch of sentences together with “and.” That well-meaning teacher said, “Don’t start a sentence with ‘and.’” For whatever reason, it stuck! Though there is no …