One of the most common questions in any of our classes is this:When is the phrase follow up hyphenated? One of the reasons this punctuation question is so commonly asked is that many dictionaries are no help at all. They simply list both versions: follow-up and follow up. I...
Many visitors to this site have been searching for everyday examples of mistakes in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. I have a Best Pick blog to recommend to you: Grammar Hell. In the spirit of Eats, Shoots & Leaves author Lynne Truss, Grammar Hell's creator, Jack, has been merrily and...
The semicolon leads a hard life: ignored by most, scorned by others, misunderstood by many. Who can blame it if it creates trouble for some of us? I'm here to defend the semicolon as a useful member of the family of punctuation marks. I'm also here to answer the...
This post should go under the category "Things I Should Have Known." It's about hyphenation. Did you know that in Microsoft Word you can insert an optional hyphen? You are probably wondering why you would want to. Example: Imagine you are writing a two-column piece such as a newsletter article....
Hello, Reader, People have been asking a good question about commas with names and salutations, so here goes: Question: Do I have to use a comma with a person's name when I say "Hi" or "Hello"? For example: Hi, Maria.    Hello, Nigel,   Good morning, Kendra.Answer: Yes, you need to...
The days of long sentences in long paragraphs are long gone. Our readers need to retrieve information fast. An excellent way to help them do this is to lay out information in bulleted lists. Definition: A "bullet point" is an item introduced by a dot ("bullet") or a similar...
If you're looking for a holiday to celebrate as summer wanes in North America, today is it: National Punctuation Day! Even if you are reading this post after the fact, punctuation is always something to celebrate. After all, it keeps us out of trouble. Note this example:        ...
The other day our graphic designer, Debbie Esposito, emailed a common question: Which heading is punctuated correctly?    Heading 1: What Is "Computers for Kids"?    Heading 2: What Is "Computers for Kids?" To recognize the correct heading, follow this rule: If the entire sentence (or heading) is a question, the question...