And I Quote

The only American thing to do is use double quotation marks. Single quotes are for the British. American punctuation rules stipulate that the only time to surround a word with single quote marks is if the text is already within double quote marks. BY WHICH I MEAN: “The American editor told me, ‘The British have … Continue reading

Monday Quickies

The preferred spelling is ambience, not ambiance. When you place it before a noun, the phrase is written multimillion-dollar (note hyphen usage). The phrase period of time can be shortened to time in every instance.

Easy on the Dashes

A sentence should contain no more than one parenthetical phrase set off by dashes. Try reading a sentence with two such phrases. Do you get as lost trying to track the original thought as I do? HUH? The spicy pizza—loaded with chili peppers and hot sauce—brought such tears to my eyes—not to mention pain to … Continue reading

Slash v. Hyphen

Use a slash to show that two words share an interchangeable relationship; use a hyphen to join two words but keep their meanings separate. IMPOSSIBLE AND TROUBLING IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT: “daddy/daughter dance” MORE ACCEPTABLE AND ANATOMICALLY WITHIN REASON: “daddy-daughter dance” The question to ask when deciding which to use is: do I mean … Continue reading