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The rules of punctuation thread

Discussion in 'Parents Off Topic' started by Jacob'sDad, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. Jacob'sDad

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    OK, some people on here are REALLY GOOD at getting all their punctuation and spelling right. I wondering if we can get some tips. I'm fair to middling myself but thank God for spell check! There are still plenty of times I'm wondering if I'm getting my punctuation, apostrophes, spelling, etc. right.

    I'll start with a few examples of things I have trouble with. (Did I just end a sentence with a preposition? LOL)

    Apostrophes:

    "Here is the dog's house."
    Apostrophe before the "s" in "dog's", right?

    "The dog went into its house."
    Is there supposed to be an apostrophe before the "s" in "its" or not? Why?

    The use of periods with quotes:
    In my example sentences from above should the period be inside the quotes or outside? What are the rules on that?

    Use of quotes:
    When should I use quotes and when shouldn't I?
    Did I do it right in this post?
    When do you use single quotes and when do you use double quotes?

    Well, that should get us started. Thanks for the help!
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  2. Brensdad

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    Bless you for posting this. Bless you.
     
  3. Brensdad

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    Yes, the "dog" example is correct.

    Punctuation always goes inside the quotes.

    Single quotes are used inside double quotes. For example, "My friend Jill told me 'I like to eat at Chili's.'"
     
  4. LizinTX

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    Your apostrophy's are correct. The possessive apostrophy goes in front of the *s* in dog's. The house belongs to the dog.

    In you second example *its* is already possessive. If you put an apostrophy in front of the *s* then it becomes the contraction *it is*. The dog did not go into it is house, therefore, it went into its house.

    Also not everything needs an apostrophy, some things are just plural.

    I am not certain about the periods and the quotes.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  5. Brensdad

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    Your apostrophe, however, is not!:p
     
  6. kiwikid

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    Doesn't it depend on whether you have 1 dog or 2?
     
  7. Brensdad

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    If there were more than one dog, then it would be "...in the dogs' house."
     
  8. LizinTX

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    LOL I was typing too fast. Too funny.
     
  9. saxmaniac

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    Yes.

    1. Possessive: Bob's car. The dog's tail. The cat's meow.
    2. Contraction: It doesn't work (for "does not")

    That's it. Everything else is wrong:

    • Green egg's for dinner!
    • I like apostrophe's so I use them all the time!
    • Warning! There i's an s at the end of thi's word!
    • I ju'st use apo'strophe's wherever there's an s!

    For the same reason you don't say "her's", "hi's", or "it's". The word itself is already a possessive adjective so you don't need to make itself extra possessive, like a jealous spouse.

    "It's" is a contraction, meaning "it is".
     
  10. Jacob'sDad

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    Thanks so far!

    But did I use quotes too much in my post? When I was talking about the apostrophe before the "s" in "dog's", did I use quotes too much? Could I have just said, "the 's' in dogs?"
    In the question I just asked shouldn't the question mark be OUTSIDE the quotes because what is inside the quotes is not a question?

    Is it ever OK to start a sentence with "But" like I just did?
     
  11. funnygrl

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    Thank you for posting this! I want to go copy and paste it to every other forum I visit.

    My huge pet peeve is "your" versus "you're." "You're" means "you are," while "your" suggests possession.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  12. ScottB

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    What screws me up sometimes about apostrophes is the possessive part. I was taught that say the words "Justin's meter" from a possessive way should be with the apostrophe after the s and not between the n and s (Justins' meter) but spell check throws a fit and says I should spell it Justin's or Justins. In this particular case "Justin's" wouldn't apply because it's a contraction of the words "Justin" and "is" so is the apostrophe after the s like my HS English teacher taught me false?

    I'd be lost without spell check as well.:)
     
  13. toohughey

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    I have a problem reading posts that have no capitals or punctuation.

    When the "verbage" is long, a few paragraph breaks helps with readability.

    There, I said it....

    TRACY
     
  14. twodoor2

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    Basal is not an herb (basil) or a town in Switzerland (Basel).:p Do synonyms count as part of the discussion in this thread?
     
  15. Jacob'sDad

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    I just want to say that I debated for awhile about starting this thread. I was afraid that some people might become afraid to post because they have trouble with spelling or punctuation.
    So, I'll just say right now: POST NO MATTER WHAT! YOUR OPINIONS AND COMMENTS ARE IMPORTANT TO US ALL. Spelling and punctuation are VERY secondary.
     
  16. Connie(BC)Type 1

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    I love this thread!!
     
  17. twodoor2

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    The scary thing is that I know people with masters degrees in education that don't know the difference between the above, and other examples like their, they're and there, and they can't spell at all (easy words too!). Now I'm not saying that everyone should know how to perfectly spell every single word in the dictionary, or use perfect punctuation, I certainly don't. However, it's scary that someone who teaches kids doesn't know how to use contractions, and spell decently. I feel like getting them the Schoolhouse Rock series. :p How about the "Conjunction Junction?"
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  18. Mama Belle

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    I, too, love this thread.

    Now were my commas used appropriately up there? I feel like I either overuse commas or under use them. I would say commas are my greatest weakness.

    ETA: or is it underuse? Dictionary.com says it is underuse, so I've already made a mistake in this thread, darnit!
     
  19. HBMom

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    This is GREAT! Have any of you ever read "Eats, Shoots and Leaves?". It is all about punctuation. As punctuated above, there is a picture on the cover of the book of a Panda holding a gun. (So, if punctuated correctly, it would be showing a Panda eating Shoots and Leaves :0)....get it? (hope I explained it correctly). I even gave this book to 2 of my kids teachers and they both LOVED it!
     
  20. Mama Belle

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    Same here. These are the same people that spell "definitely" "definately." No offense to people who do that, by the way. I just find it interesting when people who have spent half their life in post-grad school spell it like that.
     

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