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Results 1 to 10 of 201 (page 1 of 21)

punctuation: spacing

An English writing tip explaining when to put a space before or after a mark of punctuation.
As a general rule, in English there is no space before and one space after a punctuation mark. Exceptions follow. Period No space before or after a decimal period between numerals: 10.6 million Canadians $7.45 A space before and none after a decimal period not preceded by a numeral: a .22 calibre rifle A space after a period following a person’s initial: W. S. Avis No space before or after a period in multiple numeration: subsection 2.5.12 No space before or after a period that is followed by a comma or a closing quotation mark, parenthesis or bracket: John Fraser Jr., Ellen Putniak and George Zeller were nominated. (See Chapter 21.) No space before the periods following the capital letters in the official abbreviations of provinces and territories, and no space after such periods except the last one: P.E.I. Y.T. Ellipsis points A space before, between and after ellipsis points: There was little he could say . . . so he said nothing. Note: There is an alternative format for the ellipsis. It requires no spaces between the ellipsis points (…). However, a space is inserted before and after the ellipsis when it is used between two words (“Interviews … have”), between a comma and a word (“In fact, … we have”), or between end punctuation and the beginning of a new sentence (“fell drastically. … But”). Question mark and exclamation mark No space before or after a question or exclamation mark that is followed by a closing quotation mark, parenthesis or bracket: The delegate added, "Is it not high time we tightened our belts and dealt with the deficit?" Comma No space before or after a comma that is followed by a closing quotation mark: "Stop procrastinating," she said. The terms "interfacing," "conferencing" and "downsizing" are now part of the language of business. No space before or after a comma used to separate triads in numbers (see Note 2 in 5.09 Decimal fractions): $12,670,233 Colon No space before or after a colon used to express ratios or the time of day in the 24-hour system, or to separate chapter and verse, volume and page, act and scene in references to books, plays, etc.: a slope of 1:4 We arrived at 15:30 Psalms 39:5 Parentheses and brackets One space before and none after an opening parenthesis or bracket within a sentence; no space before or after a closing parenthesis or bracket that is followed by a punctuation mark: Please read the enclosed booklet (Using Your Modem); it will help you take full advantage of your new communication tool. No space before or between parentheses enclosing subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, etc., in citations from legislation: subparagraph 123(4)(b)(ii) Em dash, en dash and hyphen No space before or after these marks when they are inserted between words, a word and a numeral, or two numerals: I will support you in any way I can—even to the point of silence. —Eugene Forsey a few 90-cent stamps pp. 134–200 Oblique No space before or after an oblique used between individual words, letters or symbols; one space before and after the oblique when one or both of the items it separates contain internal spacing: n/a thesaurus / collocation dictionary Language and Society / Langue et société Apostrophe No space before or after an apostrophe within a word. One space before and none after an apostrophe used to indicate omitted figures in dates: the committee’s report the employees’ suggestions the class of ’79 Quotation marks One space before and none after an opening quotation mark within a sentence; no space before or after a closing quotation mark that is followed by a punctuation mark: The Minister spoke of "a full and frank discussion with all parties"; a resolution to the conflict is expected within the week.
Source: Writing Tips Plus (English language problems and rules)
Number of views: 37,193

How to capitalize holiday greetings

An English blog post on how to capitalize holiday greetings.Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, if you’re sending out holiday greetings this year, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the correct capitalization. Here’s all you need to know to make your greetings letter-perfect! Season’s greetings / Compliments of the season Don’t capitalize “greetings” in “Season’s greetings.” It’s the first word, “season’s,” that may sometimes need a capital. Capitalize the word “season’s” when you use “Season’s greetings” by itself: Season’s greetings! But don’t capitalize “season’s” when it falls in the middle of a sentence or phrase: Sending you season’s greetings, The Liskas Also, note that it’s “season’s” (with an apostrophe and an “s”), not the plural “seasons.” The possessive form is needed because “season’s greetings” stands for “greetings of the season.” A similar greeting, “compliments of the season,” follows the same rule. Capitalize the first word (in this case, “compliments”) if the greeting is used by itself, but not if it appears in the middle of a sentence or phrase: Compliments of the season! Our compliments of the season to you and your family! And remember that what you’re extending to others is “compliments” (with an “i"), not its homonym, “complements.” Happy holidays As with the greetings above, capitalize the first word, “happy,” when you use “Happy holidays” on its own: Happy holidays! But lower-case “happy” when it is used midway through a sentence or phrase: We hope you have happy holidays! Wishing you happy holidays! Note that no capital is used for “holidays” in either case. The same is true, of course, of the word “holiday” in the singular: We wish you all the joy of the holiday season! Greetings for specific holidays Always capitalize the names of specific holidays like “Hanukkah,” “Christmas,” “Kwanzaa” and “New Year’s Day” (or “New Year’s,” for short), regardless of their position in a sentence, because they’re proper nouns. The same is true of “New Year” when it refers to New Year’s Day. But don't capitalize “new year” when referring to the actual year: We wish you all the best in the new year! Let’s get together in the new year! In greetings for specific holidays, capitalize the first word (usually “happy” or “merry”) when the greeting appears alone: Happy Hanukkah! Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy New Year! But when positioned in the middle of a sentence or phrase, “happy” or “merry” should be lower-cased: Wishing you a happy Hanukkah! I hope you have a very merry Christmas! We wish you a happy Kwanzaa! Have a happy New Year! Now that you’ve read these guidelines on capitalizing greetings, you can send out your cards and letters with confidence and start the holidays off right! And on that note, I wish you a happy holiday season and all the best in the new year!
Source: Our Languages blog (posts from our contributors)
Number of views: 29,842

Kicking the em dash habit

An English blog post on the spaced en dash and unspaced em dash.Bold. Dramatic. Assertive. Powerful. These are just some of the words used to describe my favourite punctuation mark: the em dash! The unspaced em dash I'm a long-time fan of unspaced em dashes to separate the elements of a sentence or title in English. In fact, I delight in peppering my texts with these long dashes to create suspense or highlight an interruption. And I'm not alone: most Canadian and American style guides support my preference. But the unspaced em dash, entrenched though it is in North America, has a rival that's been gaining ground. The spaced en dash Consider the following sentences: "Yogourt" or "yogurt"—which is right? "Yogourt" or "yogurt" – which is right? In the first sentence, I used an unspaced em dash (—) to offset the question. In the second one, I used a spaced en dash ( – ). (And in case you were wondering which dash was right, the answer is … both!) Personally, I find that the first sentence has more "oomph" than the second one. The difference between the two sentences is subtle, but it's there. For that reason, I'm not the biggest fan of spaced en dashes. But I'm learning to live with them. Why? Because they're popping up everywhere, and they're endorsed by some pretty credible sources. Support for the spaced en dash Some major British publishing houses (including Cambridge University Press and Penguin) use spaced en dashes. And many writers and graphic designers on this side of the Atlantic also prefer spaced en dashes for readability and aesthetics, finding them less distracting than unspaced em dashes. Moreover, in his influential work The Elements of Typographic Style, Canadian typographer Robert Bringhurst also advocates spaced en dashes. He states that the em dash is too long in many modern fonts and claims that it's passé: The em dash is the nineteenth-century standard, still prescribed in many editorial style books, but the em dash is too long for use with the best text faces. Like the oversized space between sentences, it belongs to the padded and corseted aesthetic of Victorian typography. So, move over, em dash, and make way for your leaner and airier cousin. With time, I may even learn to like the spaced en dash. Perhaps it's an acquired taste … What about you? Which dash would we find in your writing? Let us know in the comments section!
Source: Our Languages blog (posts from our contributors)
Number of views: 18,373

Capitalization: To capitalize or not to capitalize

An English-language quiz on capitalization rules.Capitalization rules can cause confusion for many writers. See if you can untangle the web of rules in this quiz!1. Which of the following centred titles is capitalized properly?The Year Of The Flood (Margaret Atwood)Son of a smaller hero (Mordecai Richler)Dance on the Earth: A Memoir (Margaret Laurence)2. In which of the following sentences is internet written properly?Tory searched the internet for hours to find just the right quote.The company installed a private Internet to connect its branches.The students were told to use the Internet for their research.3. In which of the following sentences is atlantic provinces capitalized properly?Many great musicians come from the Atlantic provinces.The Atlantic Provinces are a big tourist destination.The West Coast and the Atlantic provinces are very different regions.4. The word government is always capitalized .when used in legal titles (the Government of Nunavut)when used in short forms of legal titles (the Federal Government)when used in the plural (the provincial and territorial Governments)5. In which of the following sentences is member of Parliament capitalized properly?The Members of Parliament voted on the bill.The Member of Parliament for Calgary West is very popular.As a Member of Parliament, you represent your constituents.6. In which of the following sentences is web written properly?I watch all my movies on the web.He did not know how to work the Webcam.The web-based software can be downloaded for free.7. A heading that starts at the left-hand side of a page should be capitalized as follows:Setting the time on your clock radioSetting the Time on Your Clock RadioSetting The Time On Your Clock Radio  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 14,965

asterisk at end of a sentence

A writing tip on where to place an asterisk at the end of a sentence.
When an asterisk and a punctuation mark (e.g. period, question mark, exclamation mark) appear at the end of a sentence, the asterisk follows the punctuation mark, with no space between them. For example: Melby states that this decision was sound.* Melby attempts to justify his decision as being sound!* As for the explanation at the bottom of the page (e.g. author’s, editor’s or translator’s note), place the asterisk immediately before the explanation. *Here Melby is referring to… Notes referenced by an asterisk or other symbol should come before any numbered footnotes in the list at the bottom of the page.
Source: Writing Tips Plus (English language problems and rules)
Number of views: 12,390

Editing matters: Helping your text to shine

An English blog post called Editing matters: Helping your text to shine, written by Anne Louise Mahoney from Editors Canada.Canadian style is a bit of this and a bit of that: some British style, some US style, and some Canuck style! So how can you keep it all straight if you’re writing for Canadian readers? Here’s where an editor can help. Editors are experienced professionals who have learned their skills in training programs or on the job. We can bring consistent spelling and other styles to your text, as well as suggest ways to make sure the text is clear, well organized and engaging for the intended audience. From books to online materials (and everything in between), editors help text to shine. Many editors refer to Professional Editorial Standards, a valuable guide to the knowledge, skills and practices usually needed for editing English-language materials. The standards outline the work that needs to be done during the four main stages of editing: structural editing (improving organization and content) stylistic editing (clarifying meaning and refining the language) copy editing (ensuring correctness, accuracy, consistency and completeness) proofreading (correcting errors in text and images when material is in layout or its final format) Some of the things we check include: the need to Canadianize (adapt a text for Canadian readers) inclusivity (avoidance of insensitive or offensive terms) spelling (is it Canadian?) compounds and hyphens capitalization abbreviations punctuation measurements (metric, imperial, time, geographical and more) citation (using various referencing systems) legal and ethical issues French used in an English text Editors work on countless subject areas in the corporate, technical, government, not-for-profit, academic, educational and publishing sectors. Would you like to make your text shine with the help of an editor? The Editors’ Association of Canada (Editors Canada), a not-for-profit organization that promotes professional editing as key in producing effective communication, can definitely help you. For more information, visit Editors Canada.
Source: Our Languages blog (posts from our contributors)
Number of views: 10,740

italics: legal references

A writing tip on when to italicize the titles of statutes and court cases.
The following guidelines explain how to deal with legal references in running text. Court cases The names of court cases appear in italics in both legal and general writing: Cooper v Hobart Graat v R In Jordan House Hotel Ltd v Menow, the Supreme Court ruled that the owner of a bar must ensure that intoxicated customers have a safe way home. Legislation In general writing, titles of legislation appear in roman type (i.e. not in italics): The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act was passed in 2012. Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Immigration and Refugee Board is empowered to hear cases involving refugee matters. However, in legal writing and in many Canadian government documents, titles of legislation are placed in italics: The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act was passed in 2012. Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Immigration and Refugee Board is empowered to hear cases involving refugee matters. Do not italicize short forms such as “the Act” or “the Charter”: The Act defines environment as including land, water and air; organic and inorganic matter; living organisms; and natural systems. Do not italicize the abbreviation for the title of a piece of legislation, especially when it follows the title written in full. Readers not familiar with the legislation may think that the abbreviation is part of the title. Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA)
Source: Writing Tips Plus (English language problems and rules)
Number of views: 9,213

numbers: money

A writing tip on how to write sums of money.
Sums of money are usually expressed in numerals, except when they refer to round or indefinite amounts or are used in a formal or legal context: $5.98/m² a fare of 75¢ but a few thousand dollars a twenty-dollar bill Payments shall be made in equal instalments of two hundred and thirty dollars per month. Use the following forms: 65¢ or $0.65 or 65 cents (not $.65 or .65¢) two million dollars or $2 million or $2,000,000 a two-million dollar loan $100 (not $100.00, when standing alone, or $100.) five dollars or $5 (not 5 dollars) $5 worth or five dollars’ worth The abbreviations B for billion, M for million and K for thousand are often encountered, especially in newspaper headlines. Avoid them in formal writing. Note that there is no space between the numeral and the letter: Foreign aid reduced by $5B in budget When dollar amounts are used with SI symbols, the following forms are required: $11.50/m² (not $11.50/square metre) $3.99kg (not 3.99/kilogram or $3.99/kilo) 98¢/L (not 98¢ per litre) Place the dollar sign before the numeral in question.
Source: Writing Tips Plus (English language problems and rules)
Number of views: 8,931

How to write the date

A quiz on how to write the date in English.Knowing how to write the date correctly is important. After all, you want people to show up at your event on the day you expect them! Test your knowledge by seeing if you can choose the correctly written date in the questions below.1. What's the correct way to write the date in numbers if you're referring to the fifth day of June in the year 2017?2017-06-052017-05-062. How do you write the date on which New Year's Day falls?January 1st, 2017January 1, 20173. The cross-country ski event was scheduled for .Friday, January 15Friday January 154. Alana and Sean got married in .June, 2007June 20075. The concert will take place on .19 May, 2018May 19, 20186. You must send in your entry form before to take part in the contest.May 1, 2018May 1, 2018,7. The Oktoberfest Festival lasted from .September 16–October 3September 16—October 3September 16 to October 3  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 8,877

Do you have the right time?

An English-language quiz on how to write the time of dayWriting the time of day can be tricky. For each question below, choose the answer that completes the sentence correctly. Need help? Check out our writing tip on how to write the time of day.1. The annual general meeting ended at .4:30 pmp m4:30 p.m.p period m period2. Business hours: .9:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m.9 a.m. em dash 5 p.m.9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.9 a.m. en dash 5 p.m.3. The cafeteria is open from every day.9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.9 a.m. to 9 p.m.9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.9 a.m. en dash 9 p.m.4. The next flight to Thunder Bay leaves at .13:45 p.m.13:455. In the 12-hour system, 12:00 p.m. corresponds to .noonmidnight6. As Fiona waited outside the emergency room, time passed agonizingly slowly— .2:00 a.m., 3:00 a.m., 4:00 a.m. in the morningtwo o’clock, three o’clock, four o’clock7. The train leaves Union Station at sharp.7:00 p.m.7 in numerals p.m.seven written in letters p.m.8. Grandmother usually takes an afternoon nap between one and .two thirtytwo-hyphenthirty9. In the 24-hour system, 5:00 p.m. corresponds to .15:00 hundred hours17:00 hundred hours10. The internationally recognized symbol for hour is .hhr  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 7,852