Ellipses

Ellipses

An ellipsis consists of either three or four periods, or dots. A single dot is called an ellipsis point. The definition is pretty straightforward, but using ellipses can be tricky. Writers use ellipses for various reasons. An ellipsis can indicate the omission of...
Comma before and (and Other Coordinating Conjunctions)

Comma before and (and Other Coordinating Conjunctions)

If the number of page visits is a reliable indicator, this topic—using a comma before and—is on the minds of many people. The third most oft-visited on this site, this page garnered close to 10,000 hits in the past thirty days. (The most popular page—with twice as...
Parentheses and Punctuation

Parentheses and Punctuation

This site addresses a number of punctuation issues, including punctuating with quotation marks, using the semicolon and colon, and deciding when to use the Oxford comma.  Here we are focusing specifically on using commas and periods (and other punctuation) with...
Semicolons

Semicolons

Semicolons have two functions: First, they are used to separate items in lists when one or more of those items has internal commas.  As such, they function more or less like commas on steroids. In their second function, however, they are more like periods because they...
Comma before and (and Other Coordinating Conjunctions)

Quotation Marks and Punctuation: Inside or Outside?

With the possible exception of the Oxford/Harvard/serial comma, very few usage issues elicit responses as passionate as the topic of punctuating with quotation marks. American vs. British Conventions If I were in charge of writing the rules about the use of quotation...
One Space or Two after Periods?

One Space or Two after Periods?

Do you use one space or two after periods? Many people are surprisingly (even ridiculously) passionate about this issue. The Two-Space Camp Those who favor two spaces believe their text is more readable. Typically they learned to type on a typewriter. The two-space...