National Punctuation Day

Certainly this is a day to celebrate for all of us who deal each day with commas and dashes and question marks and semicolons. I am so thankful that I have the perfect place to “play” with punctuation on a daily basis. Thank you to all of you.

“Yes” and “No” and Their Friends

When “yes” and “no” are being used generically, there are no quotes. That is, when they are being used to refer to a positive or negative answer, they are not quoted. Attorneys are generally looking for a generic response and are not requiring that those words and only those words be used. When the “yes” and “no” are mixed in …

The Connecting Adverb

A “conjunctive adverb” is a word that is usually an adverb that has been pulled out to the front of the sentence to connect the sentence it is in to the one in front of it. It has a semicolon in front of it and a comma after it if it is more than one syllable. …He had been on …

Punctuation Precision

Good morning. Just a reminder that Punctuation Precision begins this Saturday. This is your chance to “pull it all together.” In the 20 hours we will cover all the marks of punctuation and show how each fits into the big picture. There will be time to cover those crazy things that seem unique to reporting transcripts. If you need CEUs …

What about…? How about…?

“What about…?” and “How about…?” are idiomatic expressions that are meant to ask a question. It is true that they are not grammatically complete sentences in that they do not have a verb. However, idioms are unique unto themselves, and these two indicate questions and must stand alone with a question mark. If there is a question after this expression, …

The Adverb Clause

In my opinion, understanding dependent clauses and the way they work inside a sentence and how they are punctuated is at the very heart of understanding the language. When clauses are punctuated correctly, it helps the reader decipher what is going on in a sentence and produces a sentence that flows and is easy to read. With that said, I …

More Hyphen Stuff…

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 …

20-Hour Punctuation Class Begins Sunday

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

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 …