by Laura A. DeCarlo
ELEMENTS OF GRAMMAR, PUNCTUATION & STYLE (continued)
|Hyphenation: Consult the Chicago Manual of Style.|
An adverb/adjective combination in which the adverb ends in “-LY” is never hyphenated:
Other sorts of adverbs are followed by a hyphen when combined with an adjective:
When both words modify the same noun, they are not hyphenated.
Adjectives combined with nouns having an “-ED” suffix are hyphenated.
Hyphenate changes when there are adjective phrases involving a unit of measurement:
But there are no hyphens in such an adjectival phrase as: “Her car is ten years old.” Hyphens are generally omitted when such phrases follow the noun they modify except in phrases involving “all” or “self” such as “all-knowing” or “self-confident.”
Fractions and hyphens: Fractions are almost always hyphenated when they are adjectives.
But when the numerator is already hyphenated, the fraction itself is not, as in “ninety-nine and forty-four one hundredths.”
Fractions treated as nouns are not hyphenated.
Hyphen vs. “em” dash: An “em-dash” is the width of the letter m, and is used to mark a parenthesis — like this — or an interruption. It is considered a substitute for the colon.
It is different from a hyphen – two “hyphens” create the em-dash or use the symbol for em dash.
Hyphen vs. “en” dash: The “en-dash” (shorter than an em dash yet longer than a hyphen) indicates “to” between figures or words that are not preceded by the word from.
Note: whether to place an extra space on either side of an “em” or “en” dash depends on house style.
|In standard American practice, commas are placed inside quotation marks:
Periods are also normally placed inside quotation marks (with the exception of terms being defined).
Colons and semicolons are preceded by quotation marks. If the quoted matter ends with a question mark or exclamation point, it is placed inside the quotation marks.
But if it is the enclosing sentence which asks the question, then the question mark comes after the quotation marks:
|Single Quotation Mark:|
|In standard American writing, the only use for single quotation marks is to designate a quotation within a quotation.|
|If your writing contains numbers, the general rule is to spell out in letters all the numbers from zero to nine and use numerals for larger numbers.|
|In the sentence “Alex liked Nancy, with whom he shared his Snickers bar with” only one “with” is needed–eliminate either one.|
|Not always wrong, but has no place in a resume.
|A present participle is a verb ending in -ing, and is called dangling when the subject of the -ing verb and the subject of the sentence do not agree.
Tip: Pay close attention to sentences beginning with When ——ing. One way to tell whether the participle is dangling is to put the phrase with the participle right after the subject of the sentence: “Bob’s printer, rushing to finish the paper, broke” doesn’t sound right.
|Using Email and World Wide Web addresses in writing:|
|According to the text, “Computers and Composition”:
In acknowledgments, text, notes on reprints, author’s note and references, email and Web addresses appear within single angle bracket ending with a period if appearing at the closing of the sentence.
|Capitalization: Common uses:|
|The first word of a sentence;
The first word in a line of poetry;
The first word in a line of poetry;
The major words in the title of a work;
Proper nouns (names), including most adjectives derived from proper nouns,
Personal titles when they come before a name,
All (or most) letters in an abbreviation,
It’s common to capitalize President when referring to one President of the United States, but you’d refer to all the presidents (no cap) of the U.S., and the presidents of corporations don’t warrant caps unless you are using president as a title.
|MS Word wants to make the letters that accompany ordinal numbers — the st in first, the nd in second, the rd in third, and the th in other numbers — superscripts.
However, NO professionally printed books use superscripts, so neither should you. Besides, most house styles say most ordinal numbers should be spelled out.
|Punctuation and the Word Processor:|
|The traditional rule, and one especially suited to the monospaced fonts common in typescripts (as opposed to desktop publishing):
Put one space after a comma or semicolon;
|Using Book & Article Titles:|
|The titles of books and other long works are either italicized or underscored; the titles of shorter works (essays & articles) appear in quotation marks.
In most house styles, all the major words in an English title are capitalized — “major” meaning the first word, the last word, and everything in between except articles, conjunctions and prepositions.
|An infinitive is the form of a verb that comes after to, as in to support or to write. A split infinitive occurs when another word comes between the to and the verb.
Some people prefer to keep the to next to the verb at all times, and though grammar experts are divided over this rule, it’s probably better to avoid split infinitives whenever possible.
Adverbs often insinuate themselves between the to and the verb, as in “To boldly go where no man has gone before,” or “To always keep a watch on your bag.”
|ELEMENTS LACKING OCR SCANNABILITY|
|Non-Standard Typefaces other than Arial, Courier New, Helvetica
Condensed spacing between letters or lines
Boldface or italics that cause the letters to touch each other
Pictures or graphics
Vertical and horizontal lines, graphics, and boxes (including underlining)
Two-column format or resumes that look like newspapers or newsletters
Header and name not on top of page
Font size exceeding 18 points or below 10 points
Place your header at the top page one
(For key word scannability remember that nouns are the target, not verbs)