Thursday, June 24, 2010

Punctuation marks and their uses

Perilous Points of Punctuation:  Try for online punctuation drills
•    Double dash --
•    Two hyphens put together
•    Stops action in sentence
•    Makes the reader stop for a moment
•    Creates a break in the flow of ideas to help focus on each thought.
•    It’s hard to believe—but it works—no matter how strange it seems—because the facts—bizarre as they are—confirm I’m right.

Brackets and parentheses
•    Use the parenthesis (parentheses is plural) to show how an idea is hidden (or otherwise not up-front)
•    (It’s hiding an idea in the sentence) that the reader “hears” in his or her mind as they read.
•    But if someone is quoted, “Then it’s obvious {for all intents and purposes} that a bracket does the job.”
•    “At times, a misquote uses {sic} to show something missing or misspelled.”

Slash away!
•    The slash works as an “either/or” component in punctuation.
•    It serves the purpose to say “him/her” or “he/she” or “this/that” in a sentence.

Ellipsis dots…just fade away…
•    Ellipsis dots show words missing from a quote, speech, or an interruption.
•    Use three dots…in the middle of the quote
•    Use FOUR at the end of a sentence (one is really the ending period mark), as well as the ending quotation mark.
•    “Friends…associates…colleagues…let me tell you a story….”

The colon
•    The colon announces something important: “Here’s the most-wanted list.”
•    To make a statement: “This grade will get your attention.”
•    To say “such as” and use a punctuation mark instead.
•    To set off a long quotation from the rest of the text.
•    Salutations (To whom it may concern:) or (Dear Aunt Helen:)
•    Time (7:20 p.m.)
•    Biblical citations (John 3:16)

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