Professor Tashman

Ellipsis

The ellipsis An ellipsis (plural is ellipses) mark is three dots. Use an ellipsis to shorten a quote without changing the quote’s basic meaning. The full quote: Horyn wrote that “Fashion Week was in high gear last night. The runways glittered with high-heeled satin ballet slippers, gray wool dresses with gently billowing sleeves, vampish fur […]

End Punctuation

End Punctuation The period Most sentences end with a period. Some, however, end with a question mark or an exclamation point. Sentences that report a question, rather than stating a direct question, should end with a period, not a question mark. Wrong: She spotted him at the end of the bar, nursing  a martini and […]

Unneccessary Commas

Don’t use commas between non-independent clauses Wrong: Dax staggered around the drunken bodies on the living room floor, and found himself alone beneath the mistletoe. Correct: Dax staggered around the drunken bodies on the living room floor and found himself alone beneath the mistletoe. Or Dax staggered around the drunken bodies on the living room […]

Dash Addiction

The Dash Use two hyphens to form a dash—also called an m dash—with no spaces between the hyphens. A hyphen (used to form compound words) is not a dash Use a dash to make a parenthetical statement while avoiding the formality of parentheses: Pork chops—I want them, I need them, I’ve got to eat them—have […]