Dos and donts of english punctuation

If you write a complete sentence enclosed in parenthesis standing alone as an extra comment or after thought you want to add after the end of the first sentencestart it with a capital letter and end it with a period. When the new recruit heard that he was accepted to the marines, he was very disappointed. He had originally hoped to serve in the navy. However, If you write a complete sentence enclosed in parenthesis as an inside comment which is embedded in the surrounding sentence, you should not start it with a capital letter and not end it with a period.

Dos and donts of english punctuation

Now all they have to do is to. When Britain started to see exotic foreign fruits and vegetables, shopkeepers began to use the apostrophe with the plurals of foreign words ending in a vowel, such as bananas, to avoid confusion.

This usage therefore became known as the greengrocers' apostrophe, but it soon got a little out of hand, and spread to other plurals as well.

So is it dos and don'ts, or maybe do's and don'ts, or even do's and don't's? I might as well admit that the title of this post is itself meant as a little bit of provocation. This expression is quite a common idiom meaning 'what you should do, and what you shouldn't do'.

Here are the Google Search results for three ways of punctuating it: Not only is it in a tiny minority on Google search, but Google commented: Ironically this puts her at odds with people like the distinctively non-prescriptive Professor Bryans at Common Errors in English, who says that an apostrophe in do's is unnecessary; not to mention the real prescriptivists.

On the other hand there are enough people like David Crystal who notes: Similarly, we find do's and don'ts, and many more [apostrophes with plurals] to say that there is no real consensus, so in my opinion I have a choice, and dos looks distinctly strange to me, so I'll stick with do's and don'ts, Professor Bryans notwithstanding.

Google NGram Viewer But suddenly it's got more interesting. In December Google released a program, developed by scientists at Harvard, which instantly tells you how often a word or phrase has occurred in the corpus of books they have digitised, or at least some of it.

And some fascinating social information it gives us, such as how and when the expression flight attendant has replaced air stewardess, or that the expression 'by jingo' the source of the word jingoismwhich I'd always associated with the First World War, was actually at a low inhaving had a huge peak in about Admittedly this program does not have the authority or the fine tuning available to users of, for example, the British National Corpus.

But for normal mortals like me, it is incredibly easy to use, and also great fun. The first graph is for British English, where dos without an apostrophe in blue just overtook my preferred version in red in the middle of the nineties.

But look at this. Despite most of those telling us not to use an apostrophe being American, in the American English corpus, it's the one with the apostrophe that's quite considerably in the lead, and the one without is even dropping a bit.

It's interesting that Lynne Truss's preferred version in green lies considerably below the other two in both views, and is on the decline. So I may be wrong, but it looks as though I'm in good company. So better stick with the purists on that one.

And now here cometh the rant Of apostrophe abuse and catastrophes and the like At first I found websites that chronicled apostrophe 'abuse' quite amusing, but I have to confess I now find them rather sad.

Fair enough if you want to keep an eye on professional writers who should know better, but most of the examples shown are just of ordinary shops, small businesses etc.

Almost all concern the use of the apostrophe with plurals - the dreaded greengrocers' apostrophe.

Dos and donts of english punctuation

And the examples of these so-called 'abuses' are often accompanied by snide comments of the 'we are so clever, and they are so stupid' variety.

It's a kind of misplaced intellectual snobbery, but lacking in any intellectual content, for as far as I can see, none of these sites try in the slightest to understand the history of the apostrophe or why the problem with plurals if it is in fact one arose.

I suppose, in truth, they are as harmless as the errant apostrophes they photograph with such a mixture of indignant outrage and glee. But they do start to make trainspotting look like a worthwhile hobby in comparison.

Dos and donts of english punctuation

A little perspective Nobody was ever harmed by a misplaced apostrophe, nor does it usually have the slightest confusing effect on the reader.

Unlike the comma, where a dropped comma is said to have led to a war: This was in response to a message which had mysteriously lost a crucial comma, and is thought to have been a contributory factor to the outbreak of the Second Boer War And British diplomat and Irish nationalist, Sir Roger Casement, is said to have been 'hanged on a comma'.

At his trial, the judge's interpretation of an old law is said to have included adding in a comma at an appropriate place, conveniently making the law applicable to Casement.

Apostrophes are much less dangerous. Nor does somebody's incorrect or correct, for that matter use of the apostrophe say much about their general ability to use English. Go down to any London street market, and I dare say you'll find a fair quantity of misplaced apostrophes on the market stall signs, but then just listen to the patter of the traders who wrote those signs as they sell their wares.

I guarantee you one of the richest language experiences of your life.Dos and don’ts.

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Do’s and Don’ts. Do’s and don’t’s. 1. Dos and don’ts – one apostrophe. This one couldn’t be simpler. Add an “s” to the end of each word to make them plural.

Finished. If you choose this option, you’re in the company of The Guardian, The Economist, The Chicago Manual of Style, the Oxford English Dictionary and The New York Times. 2. Creative Writer's Style Guide: Rules and Advice for Writing Fiction and Creative Nonfiction [Christopher T.

Leland] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Textbook rules about punctuation and grammar can be difficult to apply to your novel, short story, personal essay or memoir.

There are special considerations that normal . The Dos and Donts of Using a Period. Pay attention! 1. If you write a complete sentence enclosed in parenthesis standing alone (as an extra comment or after thought you want to add after the end of the first sentence), start it with a capital letter and end it with a period.

When the new recruit heard that he was accepted to the marines, he was very . lives – noun /laɪvz/ ; verb /lɪvz/ IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) and sounds — pronunciation key To hear the pronunciation of a word, search for the word and click the sound symbol — Related page FinalS-audio.

Do be careful with apostrophes used with possessives. Apostrophe problems are on the fringe between spelling and a punctuation errors.

When you wish to show ownership or possession, you need an apostrophe: the king's English, the company's policies, Brittney's bad hair days. Don't add apostrophes unnecessarily or in the wrong place.

Definition of dos and don'ts - rules of behaviour. We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. This website uses cookies that provide targeted .

Do's and don'ts of IELTS essays (Band 7+) | IELTS-Blog