A Helping Hand…dot dot dot, dash dash dash…S.O.S!

The hyphen, the en dash, the em dash, and the ellipsIs. Probably the least understood (after the comma!) members of Team Punctuation. Also the ones I don’t often see used correctly.

So, we’ve learnt how to use semicolons (here), and we’ve learnt how to use apostrophes (here). And we’re doing it right, aren’t we, children? Of course, you are!

I’ll do my best to keep it simple and identify a few main simple rules. Continue reading “A Helping Hand…dot dot dot, dash dash dash…S.O.S!”

A Helping Hand…Punctuation Part 2 – Apostrophes

rainbow punctuation-787593_640Right! We did semi-colons in the last tutorial (see here). I thought I would tackle the apostrophe next. It’s another member in the punctuation cast list which has only a few functions but seems to cause an awful lot of confusion.

So, children, you’ve had morning break, please go back to your desks.

Stephen! Don’t try and carry the chair with Al still on it, dear.

Chris! Please don’t put that eraser in Carol’s ear. Pardon Chris? Yes, I know it’s soft, but she still doesn’t like it.

Sorry, Jim, what did you say? You want to put your raincoat on in case it rains? It won’t rain indoors, dear. No, Yvonne certainly won’t pour water over you.

Dan, please don’t fill Lois’s satchel with milk.

Kat!!!!!!………..Please don’t do that.

(In memory of the very wonderful Joyce Grenfell)

So, if we are all sitting comfortably…

Continue reading “A Helping Hand…Punctuation Part 2 – Apostrophes”

Ed’s Casual Friday: After a colon…a hot mess.

And now for something completely different… I’m going to say a few words about grammar, and editors. And colons.

First-things-first for all you authors out there: You need an editor. I don’t even mean at the story/plot/character level, though a good editor is invaluable there, too. For my purposes here I just mean strictly as a proofreader. You may not think you do, but you do, and not because you can-t rite gud English. Continue reading “Ed’s Casual Friday: After a colon…a hot mess.”

A Helping Hand…that annoying little…semicolon

rainbow punctuation-787593_640Yes, he’s very annoying. You don’t want to use him, you try to ignore him, but darn him, he’ll muscle in at every opportunity. So much so that he confuses you and drives you absolutely bonkers. And he has the absolute gall to wink at you…

; ; ; ;

Yes, I’m talking about the semicolon – a period and a comma, stacked up nice and neatly but seem to confuse and perplex so many people.

In fact, the instances in which the semicolon is used are comparatively few. Just remember two basic rules and you can’t go wrong. Continue reading “A Helping Hand…that annoying little…semicolon”