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Punctuation

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Punctuation

Punctuation marks serve to organize or clarify written language. The rules vary with language, location and time.

Periods .

Periods are the most frequently used punctuation marks to help signify the end of a complete thought. Periods are necessary for a number of important tasks.

Rules:

  • Use a period at the end of a complete sentence that is a statement.

    • Mehret is the Vice President of International Markets.
    • I understand that you have a significant amount of experience in running database programs.

  • Use a period after an indirect question.

    • Errol asked where the monthly report was.
    • Yolanda wondered what was for dinner.

  • If the last word in the sentence ends in a period, do not follow it with another period. Commas, question marks, and other punctuation should be used as they would usually.

    • This is my first trip to the U.S.
    • On Magnus?s first trip to the U.S., he met lifelong friends.
    • When do you think Krystle will stop talking about her Ph.D.?

  • Use a period for some abbreviation.

    • The samples were collected Aug. 6, 1952.
    • All the food, decorations, silverware, ect., that we need for the event should be charged to the entertainment budget.

  • Caution: There is no reliable rule for abbreviation: Some get periods, some do not. Only a dictionary will tell you for sure which do, though the information may differ from dictionary to dictionary, as each relies on its own measurement of standard usage to decide which is the ?authoritative? usage for its lexicon.

Commas ,

Commas are among the most frequently used punctuation marks to help manage the flow of thoughts in a sentence. Commas perform critical functions:

Rules:

  • Use a comma in a compound sentence where a conjunction (and, but, or, yet, so, for, nor) separates the complete thoughts.

    • We expected an especially heavy workload today, so we asked for three temporary employees.
    • Susan investigated the complaint, and Bill wrote a thorough report.

  • Use a comma where consecutive adjectives modify the same noun.

    • We prepared a hard-hitting, effective ad campaign.
    • He wrote a thorough, detailed report.

  • Use a comma before the final and or or in a series of three or more.

    • Jane ordered pens, pencils, and stationary.
    • John bought cookies, muffins, and fruit for the staff meeting.

  • Use a comma between the dependent clause (incomplete thought) and the independent clause (complete thought) in a complex sentence. This is most typically done when sentence order is inverted (the incomplete thought comes first).

    • If you need my assistance, please notify me by Friday.
    • Or: Please notify me by Friday if you need my assistance.
    • Because we had received a complaint, the manager interviewed each of the employees at the counter.
    • Or: The manager interviewed each of the employees at the counter because we had received a complaint.

  • Use a comma for any introductory idea, interruption, or after thought.

    • Introductory idea:

      • In the meantime, we will continue the current policy.
      • On Friday, July 17, the Personnel Department will conduct interviews for the three positions.

  • Interruption:

    • Ellen Henderson, rather than Mary Phipps, was named manager of the Seattle office.
    • You will see, however, that the project will be finished on time.

  • Afterthought:

    • It?s not too late to change the deadline, is it?
    • Send the report to Data Processing by Monday, if you can.

  • Use two commas to set off any expression that explains a preceding word.

    • John Pickering, vice president of Acme Computers, is attending the meeting.
    • Offshore manufacturing, a typical production option today, is helping to create a global village.

  • Use commas to set off a year written after both the month and the day (to show exactly which month and day you mean).

    • The August 30, 2005, report details our recovery of delinquent funds.
    • The meeting on Tuesday, March 14, 2006 is to discuss the four final job candidates.

  • Caution: Do not use commas for just a month and year.

    • The December 1992 report showed gains in our customer response.
    • Peter Montgomery was hired in January 1988.

  • Use commas to set off the name of a state or country after a city because it identifies a particular city.

    • We know she lives in either Kansas City, Kansas, or Kansas City, Missouri.

Do not use a comma to separate:

1. A subject and its verb.

2. A verb and the object immediately following.

3. The two parts of a compound subject, compound verb, or compound object connected by and, or, or but.

4. A reflexive pronoun from the rest of the sentence.

5. A short prepositional phrase at the beginning of a sentence from the rest of that sentence.

Semicolons ;

Semicolons are markers that separate various kinds of clauses and phrases. Being able to correctly identify clauses and phrases within a sentence is helpful in using semicolons correctly.

Rules:

  • Use a semicolon instead of a conjunction to join two complete thoughts. The two independent clauses, when joined, create a compound sentence.

    • We know that customer service is important to quality efforts; we are implementing new evaluation procedures to solicit customer feedback.
    • The employees are very supportive of the new forms; they are turning in completed ones at the end of each week.

  • Use a semicolon to join two complete thoughts (independent clauses) when the second one begins with a conjunctive adverb or transitional word (such as: accordingly, also, consequently, further, however, indeed, in fact, moreover, nevertheless, then, therefore, thus). The most common used transitions are however and therefore. If the connecting word has more than one syllable, place a comma after the connection.

    • The computer program was difficult to learn; nevertheless, Susan continued her training program until she was proficient.
    • Please tell Mr. Henson the nature of the complaint; then he can refer it to the appropriate department manager.
    • We need your information on the project; therefore, we will schedule the meeting when you are available.

  • Use a semicolon instead of a comma when two complete thoughts joined by a coordinating conjunction have other commas in the sentence.

    • We need to order pens, pencils, and markers; and the order must be placed before March 20.
    • She needs more assistance to finish the project; but the clerks, administrative assistants, and secretaries are all unavailable.

  • Use a semicolon before an expression (or its abbreviation) such as for example (e.g.), that is (i.e.), and namely, if it introduces a list or explanation. Always use a comma after these expressions.

  • The manager had one basic belief; the customer is always right.
  • Many cities would be suitable for the national conference; for example, New Orleans, Atlanta, Los Angles, or Seattle.

  • Use a semicolon to separate a series of items with internal commas. The semicolon clearly shows the major separations between the items.

    • The ad hoc committee elected its new officers: Melissa Kendall, president; Hector Garcia, president-elect; Sondra Norman, vice president; and Andrew Grebecki, treasurer.

  • Caution: A semicolon is an essential punctuation mark, but one that should not be overused. If you string too many thoughts together, sentences will become complicated and confusing. Instead, use semicolons to organize components into the clearest, most well-structured sentences possible.

Colons :

A colon is used primarily as a separator, dividing major sentence elements. Its most specific and well-known function is to call attention to whatever follows.

Rules:

  • Use a colon to formally introduce a list or an idea with a word or phrase such as: the following, as follows, these, this. The word after the colon is capitalized when it?s the beginning of a complete sentence (or when the material following the colon consists of two or more sentences); it is not capitalizes when the list or idea is not a sentence.

    • Prepare the title page as follows: Write the full title and originating department in the center of the page.
    • The real problems in manufacturing are: high turnover, equipment repair costs, and expensive shipping requirements.

  • Use a colon after the salutation of a business letter, and after the words subject or attention.

    • Dear Mr. Garcia:
    • Attention:

  • In business writing, use a colon to introduce a quotation of one long sentence, or two or more sentences of any length.

    • The CEO addressed the board as follows: ?We are creating a new marketing strategy to position our best-selling product more completely.

  • Use colons for separation.

    • Titles: Separate a title for a subtitle.

      • The Earth: A Green Planet

    • Time: Separate hours from minutes.

      • 8:19 a.m.; 4:07 p.m.

    • Citations: Separate chapter from verse in a biblical reference.

      • John 2:14

    • Ratios

      • 2:1

  • Caution: Avoid using a colon between a verb and complement, verb and object, or preposition and object.

    • Incorrect: Two entertaining movies by Steven Spielburg are: ET and Jaws.
    • Correct: Two entertaining movies by Steven Spielburg are ET and Jaws.

Quotation marks ? ? ? ?

Quotation marks---either double (? ?) or single (? ?)---mainly enclose direct quotation from speech and from writing. Always use quotation marks in pairs, one at the beginning of a quotation and one at the end.

Rules:

  • The main purpose of quotation marks is to indicate that you are using someone else?s exact words, whether spoken or written. Enclose all exact quotations.

    • On the telephone you stated: ?We will send the invoices no later than June 21.?
    • I asked John, ?Do you like ?The Raven? by Edgar Allen Poe?"

  • Do not use quotation marks to paraphrase; this is called an ?indirect quotation.?

    • On the telephone you stated that you will send the invoices no later than June 21.

  • Use a colon to introduce a quotation that relates to the previous part of the sentence.

    • The vice president?s reply was immediate; ?We will implement the new program in 10 days.?

  • Use a comma to introduce a quotation of one short sentence.

    • She said, ?I?ll finish that right away.?

  • Ending punctuation for a closing quotation mark is as follows:

    • Periods and commas go inside a closing quotation mark.

  • He said, ?We have to revise our procedure.?
  • ?The fact is,? she said deliberately, ?we must move on this before the end of the month.?

  • Semicolons and colons go outside a closing quotation mark.

    • The staff members were told, ?There is an impending wage reduction?; they chose to stay and continue to work toward profitability.
    • The CEO provided the managers with a partial list of the ?causes of the profit reduction?: high interviewing and selection expenses, significant training costs, and a manufacturing redesign.

  • Question marks, exclamation points, and dashes can go either inside or outside quotation marks.

    • They are placed inside when they relate specifically to the quoted items.

      • ?Incredible!? was all Mary could reply.
      • ?We?re trying to---? was all she could say before the phone went dead.

  • They are placed outside the quotes when they relate to the entire sentence.

    • Did you read the article, ?Secure Your Future??
    • ?Give me liberty or give me death?---Patrick Henry is famous for this proclamation.

  • Quotation marks are placed around titles of articles in magazines or chapters in books, poems, short stories, dissertations, plays, and lectures. The names of magazines, newspapers, and books are in italicized, underlined, or written in ALL CAPTIAL LETTERS rather than enclosed in quotation marks.
  • Use quotation marks around technical terms (in nontechnical material), slang phrases, colloquial expressions made-up or ?coined? phrases, and deliberate mistakes in spelling.

    • This program is ?user-friendly.?
    • Brett wanted to ?nail down? the details on the Smith proposal.

Caution: Don?t use quotation marks in an attempt to justify or apologize for slang and trite expressions that are inappropriate to your writing.

  • Incorrect: We should support the President in his ?hour of need? rather than ?wimp out? on him.
  • Correct: We should give the President the support he needs rather than turn away like cowards.

Parentheses ( )

Parenthetical expressions include explanations, facts, digressions, and examples that may be helpful or interesting but are not essential to meaning. They are emphasized least when enclosed in parentheses rather than set off with commas or dashes.

Rules:

  • Parentheses enclose expressions that are explanatory or supplementary to the main thought of a sentence. They may be comments from the author, additions to the meaning, or anything that is incidental to the sentence.

    • The committee reviewed the agenda items (see Appendix A).

  • Many writers use dashes instead of parentheses to set the material off more sharply.

    • The proposal---and it was their final offer---was too good to turn down.

  • Parentheses enclose numbers or letters in lists of running text.

    • Exercise aids in (a) increasing aerobic heart function, (b) maintaining your weight, and ? reducing your stress.

Caution: Do not use parentheses to enclose numbers or letters in a tabulated list.

  • Exercise aids in the following:
  • a. Increasing aerobic heart function.
  • b. Maintaining your weight.
  • c. Reducing your stress.

  • Parentheses enclose clarifications of quantities in a formal document.

    • The consultant?s fee for this contract shall be one thousand dollars ($1,000).

  • Punctuating with parentheses: As general rule, never punctuate or capitalize a parenthetical expression that is inside another sentence. Capitalize and punctuate when the parenthetical thought is a separate sentence.

    • The committee reviewed the agenda items and voted on them (see Appendix A).
    • The committee reviewed the agenda items (see Appendix A) and voted on them.
    • The committee reviewed the agenda items and voted on them. (See Appendix A).

Dashes --

Use a dash or dashes to indicate sudden changes in tone or thought and to set off some sentence elements.

Rules:

  • The most common use of dashes is to indicate a major break in the flow of a thought.

    • Mr. Johnson knows--or at least thinks he does--what the solution to the problem should be.

  • Dashes also can emphasize an explanatory phrase.

    • Sally needs to send out the report--the third-quarter report--immediately.

  • Use a dash after an expression such as that is or namely when it introduces a tabulated list.

    • John discovered four ways to improve quality; namely--
    • 1. reduce expenses
    • 2. listen to the customers
    • 3. improve design
    • 4. limit inventory

  • Use a dash before any word or phrase that sums up a series ahead of it.

    • Quality, responsiveness, attention---these are the promises we make to your customers.
    • Susan Adams, Bill Eversol, Beth Winston---any of these employees can serve on the United Way campaign.
    • Caution: Although dashes also can take the place of commas, semicolons, or parentheses, remember: Overuse of the dash weakens its dramatic effect on the reader. Used sparingly, it highlights, sharpens, and strengthens your message. A proficient business writer uses the dash only to achieve a special emphasis.

Note: Create a dash by striking the hyphen key twice, with no spaces in front, between, or behind the hyphens. Although written material can be found with a space preceding and following the dash, the most common use of dash is written without spaces.

Hyphens -

A hyphen is used primarily for word division or to join words to create a new word.

Rules:

  • The hyphen divides a word that cannot be completed at the end of a line.

    • Admirers credited Ty?s meteoric rise to hard work and dedication, but insiders knew it was also due to his mega-lomaniacal ambition.

  • Hyphenate compound words that start with self, anti, ex, pro, post, mid, etc.

    • self-defeating, self-evident
    • self-centered, self-esteem
    • anti-nuclear arms, pro-choice
    • ex-President, post-World War II
    • mid-March

  • Use a hyphen for a compound adjective when it comes before the noun it modifies.

    • worst-case scenario
    • eye-catching newsletter
    • bottom-line results
    • long-range plans
    • high-level meeting
    • high-pressure environment.
    • Caution: Do not use a hyphen after an adverb ending in ly, even when it is part of a compound adjective that precedes a noun. Readers expect such words to modify the word that follows; therefore, the hyphen is implied and not necessary.
    • highly valued employee
    • newly formed division
    • clearly defined business goals.

  • Use a hyphen for two nouns that refer to one person or when one thing has two functions.

    • owner-operator
    • clerk-typist
    • secretary-treasure
    • dinner-dance.

  • Use a hyphen for many compound nouns that have a single letter as their first element.

    • T-shirt
    • A-frame
    • U-turn
    • H-bomb

  • Use a hyphen when a number and a noun form a compound modifier before another noun.

    • 2-liter bottle
    • 20-year mortgage
    • 100-meter dash
    • 50-cent fee
    • 8-foot ceiling.

  • Use a hyphen for compound adjectives involving a number and odd or plus.

    • 30-plus members
    • 20-odd years ago

  • Use a hyphen for a compound adjective composed of one noun and one adjective.

    • bone-dry
    • cost-effective
    • letter-perfect
    • ice-cold
    • machine-readable
    • tax-exempt

Note: Use a hyphen when writing out numbers from twenty-one through ninety-nine. Do not hyphenate hundreds, thousands, or millions.

Ellipses points . . .

Ellipses points are a series of spaced periods that show omission of an idea or an idea that trails off.

Rules:

  • Three spaced periods can be used at the beginning or in the middle of a quoted sentence to show an omitted idea.
  • If an omitted idea appears at the end of a sentence, a fourth dot should be used to represent the final period.

    • ?. . . Whether ?tis nobler . . . to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.?
    • ? . . .Whether ?tis nobler in the mind to suffer . . . .?

Apostrophes ?

An apostrophe is a mark used to indicate absent letters in contractions, dialect, and the possessive case.

  • Use an apostrophe in the place of letters or numbers that have been left out.

    • class of ?73
    • gov?t
    • aren?t
    • we?re

  • Use an apostrophe to create a possessive form of a noun.

    • Susan?s report
    • Phoenix?s zoo
    • Student?s scores

  • Use an apostrophe to form plural of a word or letter that otherwise would be misread.

    • or?s and nor?s
    • a?s and i?s
    • Caution: To pluralize numbers expressed in figures, add an s without an apostrophe.
    • Incorrect: 1990?s
    • Correct: 1990s

Exercise 17 ? Punctuation 1

Punctuate the following sentences correctly.

1. I asked Donna to get the report to me Monday however she did not get it to me until Wednesday

2. Linus asked for pens pencils and erasers for the meeting

3. Program Assistant Program Manager and Program Director those were the positions she held here

4. Jennys response was The last one was yours

5. Dr Smith gave us only nine flu shots therefore we will have to give them out on a first come first served basis

Exercise ? Punctuation 2

Punctuate the following sentences correctly.

1. If you are worried about getting injured stand back this blade is very sharp

2. I dont believe all her friends should call her doctor just because she received a PhD

3. The list of magazines for which she models is bizarre Motorweek Scientific American and Knitters Digest

4. The trained chimpanzee wearing a striped shirt and a beanie no less strolled down the street making balloon animals

5. In the absence of a better suggestion we will adjourn this meeting for it is better to come back to these ideas with a fresh mind tomorrow said the judge

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I agree that a series should be:

We did A, B, and C.

However, this is correct:

We did A, B and C.

I cannot abide the second one, but it is technically correct. It's just not easily readable in many instances.

The comma after the "B" is called an "Oxford comma" and was taught exclusively for years.

Once again, I refer everyone to "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" by Lynn Truss

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You guys, very tricky, switching fora, but it won't fool us...well, not every single one of us. Well, prob won't fool The Dude.

I learned 'the Oxford comma' as a child but it was beaten out of me as a teenager by a hyper-active history professor who had a real hard for grammar and punct...which was farking annoying because I was a double major with English and thus should know how to spell and grammarize...grrrr...anyhow, he tormented me for so long (plus, I admired him, etc, etc, he's who got me 'into' WWII so heavily that I have a whole 5-shelf bookshelf devoted to that one 'subject' and have written stories set in that time...including the current Dude's Pick short story) that I stopped using the Oxford comma, except when I backslide and it slips in. Even then, I tend to remove it in edits.

Gawd, I am long-winded. Same thing in person, actually. Either that or I'm snoring.

Kisses...

TR

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Gawd, I am long-winded.

Hence the need for the extra spaces, and time to draw another breath?

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Talonrider,

I am really beginning to understand that much of the variety and confusion of punctuation stems not only from differing education values in various geographic regions, but also from individual teachers' preferences as to what they like or think is correct.

Then along comes a first class, professional writer who throws it all out the window and seems to do just whatever he or she wants.

Thank the gods for editors.

Still I must thank you for the above post; it is quite helpful.

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It is useful. There are one or two little things I disagree with in it, matters I think of as choice rather than rule, but I'll allow them to go unmentioned less a certain rabid masked member of the audience decides to launch another crusade.

I, like the Rabbit, was taught both ways of using commas in A, B, and C constructions. I fought the change, but eventually succumbed. Changing back is difficult as we get older. Perhaps we become more contrary, or less easily duped.

C

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It is useful. There are one or two little things I disagree with in it, matters I think of as choice rather than rule, but I'll allow them to go unmentioned less a certain rabid masked member of the audience decides to launch another crusade.

I, like the Rabbit, was taught both ways of using commas in A, B, and C constructions. I fought the change, but eventually succumbed. Changing back is difficult as we get older. Perhaps we become more contrary, or less easily duped.

C

In all of my English and Creative Writing classes I was taught (correctly, IMO) to use the Oxford comma. I will persist in doing so, primarily because it prevents any possible ambiguity. By making my use of the OC automatic, I never have to worry about whether I should or should not use it in a particular case. My understanding is that if there is any possibility of ambiguity or confusion by using the non-Oxford comma rule ("A, B and C"), and there is no possibility of ambiguity or confusion by using the Oxford comma rule ("A, B, and C"), why not always use the Oxford comma rule? Makes sense to me.

Colin :icon13:

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My fifth grade teacher was under the impression that comas could be induced by drinking six bottles of beer, which he did every day after lunch. Hence we kids learned that comas were a rest period. It's true. :icon13:

He didn't teach us to spell either.

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My understanding is that if there is any possibility of ambiguity or confusion by using the non-Oxford comma rule ("A, B and C"), and there is no possibility of ambiguity or confusion by using the Oxford comma rule ("A, B, and C"), why not always use the Oxford comma rule? Makes sense to me.

Most of the books on writing I've read indicate that some punctuation rules are arbitrary and a judgement call (like the spelling of "judgement"). I agree with you that it's important to avoid ambiguity and go with the Oxford comma rule. I think that was in the Chicago Manual of Style, but it's been awhile since I pulled that six-pound book off my shelf and read it.

To me, though, all this crap should be instinctive and obvious. I don't see the need to go into a lotta detail about it, because once you learn it, you're done. Anybody who survived through high school English should know all this already.

Of course, I'm "Mr. Cool," since I exempted two years of college English (don't ask me how -- that's what they told me as a Freshman), despite having so-so grades for the two years of college I endured. But I made it through those tests by my guts and by the seat of my pants. What works, works; I don't try to over-analyze it.

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Anybody who survived through high school English should know all this already.

Oh, please. Give me a break. Would you say the same about calculus, physics, organic chemistry? The reality is that even if you should survive through high school, you will only have learned some basic skills, not the nuances, and intricate details. When the waters are muddied by continual bombardment with improper usage in the print media, whether books, magazines, or newspapers, sometimes for decades, one can be excused from not being 'perfect' in English language usage, and particularly punctuation.

I don't even have English as my first language, so 'using it instinctively' is almost completely out of the picture, since my instincts are to use the format of my first language. Nevertheless, I've managed to do a fairly reasonable job on things I've written, and, moreso, proof read, so I guess there is a certain amount of knowledge being integrated with my instinctual 'feel'.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that this discussion is valuable, and Jan's posts are useful, and I felt your post seemed to be knocking the very discussion as being a waste of time and energy. That bothers me, as I find it all beneficial, and interesting, and certainly not deserving of being downgraded. I'm happy for you that you can do all this instinctively, but I don't think most of us can, and we can gain much from these discussions. (I realize that I may have misinterpretted your post, in which case, I apologize.)

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Sorry but if Colin and I agree, our combined vote outweighs everyone and we win. THE END.

No one can possibly deviate when confronted by the combined power of the Glorious Raccoon and the Auburn-Haired Teen! :icon13:

Colin :shock:

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No one can possibly deviate when confronted by the combined power of the Glorious Raccoon and the Auburn-Haired Teen! :icon13:

Colin :icon13:

It has long been known that I am very much a deviate. :shock::shock::hehe:

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Oh, please. Give me a break. Would you say the same about calculus, physics, organic chemistry?
God, no. I bombed out of most of those, big-time. In fact, the only way I saved my grade in chemistry was to perform 20 minutes of "Chemical magic tricks" as my final exam. (I was a part-time magician in high school, so I was able to finagle that in saving my ass from flunking.) I was able to fake my way through college-level Physics, but only just barely.
I don't even have English as my first language, so 'using it instinctively' is almost completely out of the picture, since my instincts are to use the format of my first language.
My sincere apologies; I sometimes forget that The Dude's site is international, and that English is not the main language of all who post here. Trab, your command of English is good enough, as a matter of fact, you had me fooled into thinking you were an American or English (or from down under).
I suppose what I'm trying to say is that this discussion is valuable, and Jan's posts are useful, and I felt your post seemed to be knocking the very discussion as being a waste of time and energy.

I meant no disrespect to the original poster, but I think that anybody who sincerely wants to learn basic punctuation can either check out a book from the library on the subject, or buy a used book from Amazon like Elements of Style or one of the other classics. I think they'll learn it better from a book than on a website like this, but that's strictly my opinion.

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English was my worst (and most hated) subject when I was in school. I haven't done English as a subject since 1979. As a consequence, I don't remember a lot of the grammar rules, and the ones I DO remember I have been told no longer apply. I only started writing seriously in 2004, so I had a 25 year period to forget everything I learnt. In that period, I spent a lot of it as a computer programmer -- which caused even more damaging to my ability to write English "properly".

I am slowly learning correct grammar rules, but I suspect I'll still be learning by the time I retire....

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No one can possibly deviate when confronted by the combined power of the Glorious Raccoon and the Auburn-Haired Teen!

Maybe I'm not reading this correctly, but this appears to be saying the the raccoon and the redheaded precocious youth are the two greatest deviants at this site.

I, for one, will not argue the point.

C

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Believe it or not, here in Adelaide we have a road called, "Deviation Road" which has been blocked at one end for the exclusive parking of police vehicles.

I am thinking we should start a campaign to open up Deviation Road to the general public.

Assuming we have some success in achieving this, would either the Raccoon or the auburn haired one care to perform the opening ceremony? :icon13:

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No one can possibly deviate when confronted by the combined power of the Glorious Raccoon and the Auburn-Haired Teen!

Maybe I'm not reading this correctly, but this appears to be saying the the raccoon and the redheaded precocious youth are the two greatest deviants at this site.

I, for one, will not argue the point.

Good. You'd lose.

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Exercise ? Punctuation 1

1. I asked Donna to get the report to me Monday; however, she did not get it to me until Wednesday.

2. Linus asked for pens, pencils, and erasers for the meeting.

3. Program Assistant, Program Manager, and Program Director?those were the positions she held here.

4. Jenny?s response was, ?The last one was yours.?

5. Dr. Smith gave us only nine flu shots; therefore, we will have to give them out on a first come- first-served basis.

Exercise ? Punctuation 2

1. If you are worried about getting injured, stand back; this blade is very sharp.

2. I don?t believe all her friends should call her ?doctor? just because she received a Ph.D.

3. The list of magazines for which she models is bizarre: Motorweek, Scientific American, and Knitter?s Digest.

4. The trained chimpanzee?wearing a striped shirt and a beanie, no less?strolled down the street making balloon animals.

5. ?In the absence of a better suggestion, we will adjourn this meeting, for it is better to come back to these ideas with a fresh mind tomorrow,? said the judge.

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I am the last person to know about punctuation; just ask my editor.

I get very confused about commas, quotes and semicolons, but I would have to say that many of the above "rules" do not reflect what I think I was taught at school.

We will probably see a convergence of such rules due to the international nature of the Internet. In the mean time I suspect we are going to have to be tolerant of differing rules in English usage. :devlish:

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