“Yes” and “No” and Their Friends

Margie Wakeman Wells The Quotation Mark, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

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 …

What about…? How about…?

Margie Wakeman Wells The Question Mark Leave a Comment

“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

Margie Wakeman Wells Clauses, MWW Blog Leave a Comment

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…

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 …

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, …