Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: Daily Pilot HomeCollectionsPunctuation
IN THE NEWS

Punctuation

RELATED KEYWORDS:
FEATURED ARTICLES
NEWS
By June Casagrande | October 5, 2012
We had a good thing going for a while, but it could soon be toast. By "we," I mean readers, writers and editors. By "a good thing," I mean a system for placing periods and commas relative to quotation marks. And by "toast," I mean falling victim to that annihilator of printed word traditions: the Internet. For decades, American publishing has had some very specific rules on how to handle punctuation that comes next to a closing quotation mark. And if, as a reader, you never noticed how it was done — well, that was the point: a visually unobtrusive system that creates no stumbling blocks to sentence flow or ease of reading.
NEWS
March 8, 2004
JUNE CASAGRANDE A few weeks ago, a reporter here wanted to know why copy editors kept changing her semicolon to a colon. Deirdre Newman had written, "Parking is the main concern; Rutter favored an alternative with 375 spaces." What came out in print, however, was a colon in space of the semicolon. "I still think a semicolon is better -- maybe I'm wrong," Deirdre wrote in a newsroom e-mail. "But if not, I think a period would have been better, not a colon."
NEWS
June 7, 2004
JUNE CASAGRANDE "Yes, I'll take 'Easy Things That Are Difficult Only for Me' for $500, Alex." "Here is your clue: A garment you wear on your head." "What is a sock, Alex?" "No, I'm sorry. We were looking for hat. Next answer: This first president of the United States now appears on the $1 bill." "Who is Walt Disney?" "Oh, sorry no. Now will you please get your dolt carcass off my set and go get some moron job such as writing for a TV sitcom?"
FEATURES
By JUNE CASAGRANDE | December 11, 2005
Hello, and welcome to "Did June Know That?" It's a game I just made up in which everyone gets to feel smarter than me. Here's how we play: I open up a language book to a random page, close my eyes and point. If it's something I didn't know, you get to gloat silently over your morning coffee. If it's something I knew already, you have to send me money. OK? Great. Let's play. The book we'll be using today is "Garner's Modern American Usage." It's a wonderful book I recommend to everyone and wish I had written.
NEWS
By June Casagrande and By June Casagrande | March 18, 2014
I've gotten a lot of emails recently about where to put periods and commas relative to quotation marks. The notes were prompted by a recent column in which I mentioned that, in American English, a period or comma always comes before a closing quote mark (as in "fella. ") rather than after one (as in "fella".). The responses I got, and there were quite a few, all made the same point: That's not logical. Sure, my correspondents conceded, it sometimes makes sense to put a period before a closing quote mark, for example in a sentence like: Joe said, "Take it easy, fella.
NEWS
July 12, 2004
JUNE CASAGRANDE With great power comes great responsibility. With the power that comes from knowing a little something about grammar, spelling and punctuation comes the responsibility to stay off your high horse. And with the power of having your own column comes the responsibility to promote sane use of power. With that last one in mind, here's a directive I fear I should have issued a long time ago: Only use your grammar power for good, never for evil.
NEWS
May 10, 2004
JUNE CASAGRANDE Is it just me, or is this "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" business getting a little out of hand? Those of you lucky enough to live hermit-like in Unabomber-style shacks have probably been spared the hype over a book about punctuation topping bestseller lists while inspiring quite a few superior grammarians to ink their language annoyances. Suddenly everyone's an expert. Suddenly, everyone thinks they're me. The nerve. My initial reaction to learning about the book and witnessing the hype has been immature indeed.
NEWS
By June Casagrande | November 9, 2012
Whenever I hear people talk about the conniving, scheming nature of the media, it just makes me laugh. I spent enough time working at news organizations to know the closest thing true journalists have to an agenda is the desperate desire to meet brutal deadlines in understaffed newsrooms while figuring out how they'll pay their rent once talking heads and TMZ finally run real news-gathering organizations out of business. Manipulating the masses doesn't exactly figure prominently on the average reporter's list of priorities.
NEWS
By June Casagrande | June 29, 2012
If you type into Google's search engine the term "two chihuahua's," complete with apostrophe, you'll get plenty of hits that include the apostrophe. The search term "competing agenda's" also brings up a lot of apostrophe-laden hits, as does "news camera's. " This is one of the most common writing errors I see online: apostrophes used to form plurals. This apostrophe error "continues to appear, to the amusement of educated people, in signs and notices, especially in shop windows," Fowler's Modern English Usage writes.
NEWS
By June Casagrande | June 19, 2013
This is a column about nothing. It's kind of like a show about nothing, just less entertaining — and a lot less lucrative. The nothing we're talking about is the blank space around punctuation. And for a whole lot of nothing, these blank spaces sure are something. A lot of people struggle with how to space after periods and around ellipses and dashes. But if you just note a few simple facts, it's easy. Remember how back in the days of girdle-bound typists you were supposed to double space after every sentence?
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By June Casagrande and By June Casagrande | March 18, 2014
I've gotten a lot of emails recently about where to put periods and commas relative to quotation marks. The notes were prompted by a recent column in which I mentioned that, in American English, a period or comma always comes before a closing quote mark (as in "fella. ") rather than after one (as in "fella".). The responses I got, and there were quite a few, all made the same point: That's not logical. Sure, my correspondents conceded, it sometimes makes sense to put a period before a closing quote mark, for example in a sentence like: Joe said, "Take it easy, fella.
Advertisement
NEWS
By June Casagrande | June 19, 2013
This is a column about nothing. It's kind of like a show about nothing, just less entertaining — and a lot less lucrative. The nothing we're talking about is the blank space around punctuation. And for a whole lot of nothing, these blank spaces sure are something. A lot of people struggle with how to space after periods and around ellipses and dashes. But if you just note a few simple facts, it's easy. Remember how back in the days of girdle-bound typists you were supposed to double space after every sentence?
NEWS
By June Casagrande | November 9, 2012
Whenever I hear people talk about the conniving, scheming nature of the media, it just makes me laugh. I spent enough time working at news organizations to know the closest thing true journalists have to an agenda is the desperate desire to meet brutal deadlines in understaffed newsrooms while figuring out how they'll pay their rent once talking heads and TMZ finally run real news-gathering organizations out of business. Manipulating the masses doesn't exactly figure prominently on the average reporter's list of priorities.
NEWS
By June Casagrande | October 5, 2012
We had a good thing going for a while, but it could soon be toast. By "we," I mean readers, writers and editors. By "a good thing," I mean a system for placing periods and commas relative to quotation marks. And by "toast," I mean falling victim to that annihilator of printed word traditions: the Internet. For decades, American publishing has had some very specific rules on how to handle punctuation that comes next to a closing quotation mark. And if, as a reader, you never noticed how it was done — well, that was the point: a visually unobtrusive system that creates no stumbling blocks to sentence flow or ease of reading.
NEWS
By June Casagrande | June 29, 2012
If you type into Google's search engine the term "two chihuahua's," complete with apostrophe, you'll get plenty of hits that include the apostrophe. The search term "competing agenda's" also brings up a lot of apostrophe-laden hits, as does "news camera's. " This is one of the most common writing errors I see online: apostrophes used to form plurals. This apostrophe error "continues to appear, to the amusement of educated people, in signs and notices, especially in shop windows," Fowler's Modern English Usage writes.
NEWS
By June Casagrande | February 17, 2012
Some people worry that high-tech communications are bringing down language standards. In a Twitter-centric world where people write "some1" in place of "someone," these fears seem valid. But linguists beg to differ. Language, their work has demonstrated again and again, polices itself according a simple law: the need to be understood. But another way of looking at these issues hit me recently while I was reading a real estate-related website: In an age when everyone's a "published writer," spelling, punctuation and grammar may be more important than ever.
FEATURES
By JUNE CASAGRANDE | December 11, 2005
Hello, and welcome to "Did June Know That?" It's a game I just made up in which everyone gets to feel smarter than me. Here's how we play: I open up a language book to a random page, close my eyes and point. If it's something I didn't know, you get to gloat silently over your morning coffee. If it's something I knew already, you have to send me money. OK? Great. Let's play. The book we'll be using today is "Garner's Modern American Usage." It's a wonderful book I recommend to everyone and wish I had written.
NEWS
July 12, 2004
JUNE CASAGRANDE With great power comes great responsibility. With the power that comes from knowing a little something about grammar, spelling and punctuation comes the responsibility to stay off your high horse. And with the power of having your own column comes the responsibility to promote sane use of power. With that last one in mind, here's a directive I fear I should have issued a long time ago: Only use your grammar power for good, never for evil.
NEWS
June 7, 2004
JUNE CASAGRANDE "Yes, I'll take 'Easy Things That Are Difficult Only for Me' for $500, Alex." "Here is your clue: A garment you wear on your head." "What is a sock, Alex?" "No, I'm sorry. We were looking for hat. Next answer: This first president of the United States now appears on the $1 bill." "Who is Walt Disney?" "Oh, sorry no. Now will you please get your dolt carcass off my set and go get some moron job such as writing for a TV sitcom?"
NEWS
May 10, 2004
JUNE CASAGRANDE Is it just me, or is this "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" business getting a little out of hand? Those of you lucky enough to live hermit-like in Unabomber-style shacks have probably been spared the hype over a book about punctuation topping bestseller lists while inspiring quite a few superior grammarians to ink their language annoyances. Suddenly everyone's an expert. Suddenly, everyone thinks they're me. The nerve. My initial reaction to learning about the book and witnessing the hype has been immature indeed.
Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles
|