Punctuation - Achaea Online Help

22.3 Punctuation

Punctuation: it's all those funny and not-so-funny marks in, near, and between
words.


Full Stop
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Full stops are also called periods or dots. They usually end sentences. Three
together may be called ellipsis or ellipses and means something has been left
out. Two dots is nothing at all - except maybe sloppy.


Dash or Hyphen
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Dashes or hyphens can combine words together, usually on the way to becoming
one word. Good bye passed through good-bye on the way to goodbye, for example.
Or so a drunk priest told me while waiting at a coach stop.


Apostrophe
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Apostrophes are in trouble. People have started using them like glue to stick
the s on the ends of words. Make's folk's hi's's in frustration! The big uses,
proper uses, for apostrophes, were for contractions and possessives. In a
contraction, you're leaving things out. Like "you're" - it's really "you are"
with stuff left out. "It's" is a contraction too, for "it is." Possessives are
like "Oxymandar's golden chalice" or "Harry's horrible hairpiece." Yes, "whose"
is a possessive (interrogative), but it isn't "who'se" or "who's" - no matter
how tempting the form may be.


Comma
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Commas fit in all over the place - in too many places if you ask me. Spare us
all and try to use fewer. Or learn what an appositive is, and a dependent
clause, and have a blast.


Colon and Semicolon
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Both are dying fast. Quick: try to use them before they're gone! I wanted one
right about here; I'm not sure I succeeded. Just kidding! I did.


Quotes
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"Don't" use "quotes" for "emphasis." Every time you do, ten wonderful new words
die a-birthing, and the virgins in paradise get headaches for an hour. Quote
marks are for when someone else writes or says something, and you're reporting
it (those with advanced intellectual skills may notice a suspiciously useful
term here - you're "quoting" it!). Examples: the place is "closed" (or so he
said); "Free advertising" was the title of the piece.


Just have fun with it.