I apologize for the long delay in between posts. I am hoping to be more consistent. Ellipses (singular, ellipsis), dashes, and hyphens are three more punctuation marks that are not always used well. In today’s post, I want to give you a brief overview of each of these to encourage you to use them (and properly, at that) in your own writing. The ellipsis is a set of three periods with a space between each one (Microsoft Word auto-formats them and the spaces do not tend to be as prominent in my opinion). One of the purposes the ellipsis performs is to show that a portion of a quote has been left out. While I’ve not seen it included in this context, it would be appropriate to use the ellipsis in the abbreviated quoting of Joshua 24:15. The entire verse reads, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the … Keep reading!
Let’s face it, colons and semicolons (or semi-colons, if you prefer) are punctuation marks that are not always used properly. Even in my own writing I have shied away from them because I have not wanted to misuse them. (Remember, the adage holds true, “If you are not sure of how to use a particular element of writing, it may be best to avoid it.”) Today, I hope to provide some guidance for colon and semicolon usage. First, what is a semicolon? It is more than the eye portion of a winking face. 😉 A semicolon is a comma with a period on top, which may help you remember that one use is to join two related phrases (like you would with a comma) that could otherwise stand on their own. Here is an example: “It was cold outside; I wore my winter coat.” I could have written this a … Keep reading!
Did you see what I did with the post title? Pretty clever, eh? But seriously, the apostrophe is one of the most abused punctuation marks around, and I think it is primarily due to an incorrect understanding of plurals and possessives. Just because you’ve tacked the letter s onto the end of a word does not automatically require the use of an apostrophe. Perhaps you’ve seen pictures like these: Kinda makes you shudder, doesn’t it? It should if you’re serious about writing. This link gives a great breakdown of apostrophe rules, but here are two basic things to keep in mind: 1) Use an apostrophe to show possession, and 2) Do not use an apostrophe to show pluralization. My name is Joe. If you are to talk about a book I own, … Keep reading!