Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

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24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with passion. Learn More

Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with passion. Learn More

Discussion Forum

This is a forum to discuss the gray areas of the English language for which you would not find answers easily in dictionaries or other reference books.

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Latest Posts : Punctuation and Mechanics

I am a student working on a thesis in anthropology and I am quoting one of my informants. In his quote, he says “United States Geological Service.” I know that it’s “United States Geological SURVEY,” not “service.” Should I put [sic] after the word “service” in the quote? Is it obnoxious to do that? Is it necessary?

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How ought one format citations from specific books of the Bible. For example: According to the Book of James, “Faith without works is dead.” Should “Book of James” be underline/italicized?

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My students choose a favorite piece of their own writing to read aloud to thier parents at an event we call “Writers Forum.” Should it be “Writers Forum” or “Writers’Forum”?

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I’m writing for a trivia book that will use quote marks to signify a title. Would a correct possessive be:

How tall is “Sesame Street’s” Big Bird? or How tall is “Sesame Street”’s Big Bird?

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In the phrase “...ranked in the top five in PC Magazine’s top-20 list...” I know that “PC Magazine” should be italicized. But should the italic formatting carry over to the apostrophe-s or not?

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Imagine the title of an essay:

A Study of Molecular-Based Reactions A Study of Molecular-based Reactions

(I’m not a scientist so ignore whether or not the title makes sense!)

Which is correct, or more widely accepted? Personally I think the first one looks best.

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Can I use a colon and a semicolon in the same sentence? Here’s my example, “There were no known friends or family members, so besides his physical symptoms he was admitted with only one certainty: his longstanding IV drug use; he had numerous track marks and was noticeably malnourished.” Is there a better way to structure this?

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What is the term for the punctuation that is seen in theater programs, such as:

The Cast Maria...........................................Julie Andrews Capt. Von Trapp.................Christopher Plummer

I’m asking specifically about the multiple periods--is there a punctuation term for them as a group like “ellipsis” is for three periods?

Thank you! Deborah :)

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Can you use an ellipse thingu to sort of draw something out? Like if you were to say, “I think there was a turkey somewhere, but I’m not sure...” It’s bugged me, since there’s nothing about that in Wikipedia or on Websters online. ._.

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I have a question on the following excerpt:

And that means taking some time to effectively communicate the “vision” throughout the organization and to train all members to “view for improvement through cooperative effort” rather than “hunker down and protect turf.”

Does the last period of the sentence belong inside or outside of the quotation mark? The sentence “hunker down and protect turf” isn’t complete, so...what do you think? This is on the website of the company I work for.

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