Punctuation

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Punctuation Inside Parentheses

When a parenthetical phrase or sentence interrupts the middle of a sentence, do not capitalize the first letter inside the parentheses unless, of course, the word is a proper noun or proper adjective. Example: We saw Roseate Spoonbills (they have an exquisite pink color) on our trip to Texas. The first letter in a parenthetical

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Quotation Marks in Direct Quotations

When a person or work is quoted directly and word for word, the quotation is placed in quotation marks. An indirect quotation in which the substance but not exact wording is used does not take quotations marks. Correct: Macbeth said, “All our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death.” (A direct quotation) Incorrect:

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Numbers Written Out with Hyphens

Use a hyphen between the tens and units number when writing out the numbers twenty-one to ninety-nine in words. Just like that! Do not use hyphens for other numbers. Incorrect: Two-hundred-fifty-six Correct: Two hundred fifty-six (Hyphen between tens and units only) Use a hyphen between the numerator and denominator when a fraction is written out

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Question Marks and Exclamation Points in Quotations

If a question or exclamation is quoted directly, the quotation contains the question mark or exclamation point. If the question or exclamation is at the end of the quotation, the question mark or exclamation point comes before the closing quotation mark. Incorrect: “Look at that”! he exclaimed. “Did you see that”? Correct: “Look at that!”

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Hyphenated Prefixes and Suffixes

Use a hyphen after a prefix followed by a proper noun or proper adjective. Examples: mid-June pre-Columbian Afro-American Use a hyphen in words beginning with the prefixes all-, ex- (meaning “former”), and self- and in words ending with the suffix -elect. Incorrect: selfpropelled ex-treme (Prefix self- needs hyphen. The prefix in extreme does not mean

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