Some words have entered common usage in an abbreviated or truncated form; these are often words that are abbreviated by omitting the first part of the word. In these cases, no apostrophe is needed to indicate the missing portions of the words. For example:
bus, not ’bus (bus is a truncation of “omnibus”)
There are very specific rules about capitalisation in English. Do not capitalise at whim, or to emphasise a word or a phrase you consider to be important. This merely looks like shouting.
Capitalisation is used in the following ways:
-for the first person singular: “I”;
The colon sign “:” means “as follows”. A colon usually indicates equivalence between what precedes it and what follows it. The main functions of colons are to introduce quoted passages to which you refer, and to introduce examples and long or complex lists. Used within the body of a piece of text, whatever precedes a colon must be a complete sentence.
The semicolon “;” is useful in separating items in lists where each individual item has subgroups within it that are divided by commas. Do not use semicolons to separate single words or individual items in a list. Semicolons are also used to join two independent clauses that could otherwise stand as two separate sentences or be joined by a conjuction of some kind. The semicolon indicates a weaker connection between the two clauses than would a comma, but a stronger connection than would be suggested by separating the two clauses into individual sentences.
It is never correct to precede a quotation with a semi-colon.
A comma cannot logically precede a parenthesis.
A full stop is used to mark the end of a sentence, and after some, but not all, forms of abbreviation.
All footnotes and endnotes, whether or not they form complete sentences, should end with a full stop.
When a passage within parentheses falls at the end of a sentence, of which the parenthesised section is only a part, the full stop must be placed outside of the closing parenthesis. On the other hand, when a complete sentence is enclosed within parentheses, the full stop must be placed within the closing parenthesis.
Similarly, when one of your sentences ends with a quotation, the full stop indicating the end of the sentence goes outside of the quotation marks; the full stop is essential to the integrity of your sentence, and it is a part of your sentence, not a part of the quotation you are giving within that sentence. This remains true even if the quotation itself has a full stop in the original.
The use of quotation marks should be reserved for indicating direct quotations
and definitions. Do not use quotation marks to excuse the use of slang
or imprecise terms, and do not use them to emphasise a particular word
or phrase: this only gives the impression that you are sceptical about
the use of that term.
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