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Should a rhetorical question end with a question mark?
I have a question about “;” and “—” as used in sentence structure. I prefer using — i.e. “He did not expect to meet anyone—the house had been empty for years—and was surprised to hear whistling from the upper floor.”
Now, as I wrote a line in my story, as sentence ran away from me and I ended up using a ; at the end, as well as the — and I got the feeling that maybe it had to be one or the other all the way through and not a mix. Anyway, the sentence (racial slur warning)
Rod had not let her buy the beer herself at first—not until father had gone down there and cleared up some misconceptions from that sneaky pool-digger—and hadn’t that been a fun day to be alive; now he just gave her sympathetic looks whenever she came to get beer for her father.
So, in such a sentence, is it right to use both the “—” and the “;”? I can always rebuild it, but it felt right to me somehow, even though I got uncertain about if it would sting in the eyes of others.
Could I use both a colon and semicolon in a sentence?
A college will provide help for students who are struggling in homework; the resources are: study skills that help students to be on top of coursework, counselors will give advices dealing with the workload, and the option to drop a class early.
For example, “Every morning, I wake up at 6:00 am and then I make a cup of coffee.”
As a writing teacher for international students, I see this kind of sentence all the time. I know it is technically correct to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction, but I have found that so many Americans omit this comma that it has become extremely commonplace even among native English speakers. Is it socially acceptable in writing to omit the comma? How serious is it to mandate that my international include this comma?
I imagine everyone uses an apostrophe with expressions of distance or time when the number is one:
It’s only an hour’s drive from here.
They live a mile’s walk away.
A stone’s throw away.
It follows that an apostrophe should also be used in the plural version, as stipulated by, amongst others, The Guardian and Economist style guides:
It’s three hours’ drive from here.
They live two miles’ walk away.
I notice the apostrophe is often dropped here, so my question is this - do you think the apostrophe:
is always optional?
is only necessary in formal writing?
is always necessary?
or that there is some other grammatical explanation that makes the apostrophe unnecessary?
I saw this sentence in a text: “I came, I saw, I conquered.”
Should the comma be replaced with a semicolon because all three elements are independent clauses.
Should the sentence be written, “I came. I saw. I conquered.” or “I came; I saw; I conquered.”?
Is the comma acceptable, because the elements are in a simple series?
Ok, so the abbreviation is No, but should it have a capital ‘n’ to distinguish if from ‘no’, and is it with a period after it, or not?
It is short for numero so, at least in British English, I understand that there should be no period (as the last letter of the abbreviation is the last letter of the word), but in US English there would be (because they don’t care about that sort of thing).
And the plural...? Nos. or Nos ... or nos or nos. ? or just leave it as No?
In recent years I’ve noticed an increasing use of “and” or “but” followed by a comma, as in this example I saw today in an email: “We don’t believe these updates change our practices but, we want to communicate this information directly to you.” The rationale seems to be that a pause is intended after the conjunction, but clearly this violates the traditional rule about punctuating a compound sentence (as per this sentence).
In today’s Providence Journal the lead editorial, ”Tough but vague Romney,” includes this: “Mr. Romney has demanded that Iran stop its program aimed at making nuclear weapons and suggested the [sic] Mr. Obama hasn’t been firm enough. But, the former governor hasn’t said how he would do that other than, perhaps, give more support to the Israelis to attack Iran.”
I realize the paper’s evident lack of sufficient proofreading might cloud the issue here, but [not "here but,"] I assure you this is not uncommon in today’s newspaper and other published writing.
So does this bother anyone else besides me?
For example, ‘Hello, dear, how are you?’ or ‘Hello, Dear, how are you?’ (Darling, Sweetheart, etc.) Is either absolutely correct/incorrect. I have tended to favour the capitalised form (though not if using the term ‘my dear’, ‘my love’, or whatever) until now but it has recently been questioned and I cannot fully justify my usage. Thank you all, in anticipation.