Tag Archives: punctuation

Parenthesis

“Parenthesis: [Stress: ‘pa-REN-the-sis,’ Plural parentheses (‘-seez’)]. 1. In grammar, a qualifying, explanatory, or appositional word, phrase, clause, or sentence that interrupts a construction without otherwise affecting it. A written or printed parenthesis may be marked by pairs of commas, dashes, or round brackets/parentheses: Our new manager (he has just this minute arrived) would like to meet you. A spoken parentheses has the same intonation as an aside. 2. In the plural, a name for round brackets: the general term in American English, but a less common, more technical term in British English (short form parens).”

Excerpted from: McArthur, Tom. The Oxford Concise Companion to the English Language. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

A Learning Support on Writing the Exclamatory Sentence

Here is a learning support on writing the exclamatory sentence. I wrote this one myself, synthesizing a range of material and editing it down to a single page. You will find in the text, of course, support for using the exclamation point in this kind of sentence.

But a single page it is, which is not to say that the text can’t be cut into pieces and repurposed into worksheets. It’s a Microsoft Word document, so it’s yours to do with as you wish.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Acronym

“Acronym (noun) A pronounceable word formed by initial letters of syllables from a series of words of compound term, e.g., ‘NATO,’ ‘radar.’ Adjective: acronymic; Adverb: acronymically.”

Excerpted from: Grambs, David. The Random House Dictionary for Writers and Readers. New York: Random House, 1990.

A Learning Support on Single Quotation Marks

OK, on a rainy Sunday morning, here is a learning support on using single quotation marks. This is another piece of text culled from Paul Brians’ fine usage guide, Common Errors in English Usage, which you’ll find in its entirety on the Washington State University website under that hyperlink. The textual passage is a single, short paragraph. So there is a wide field for turning this into a worksheet, should you want or need to do so; as is mostly the case on Mark’s Text Terminal, this is a Microsoft Word document, so you can adapt it in any number of ways (including exporting it to another word processor) should you wish.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to be a stickler on this punctuation rule. In fact, it got me into trouble with a principal who didn’t understand the typographical rules and conventions for using double and single quotation marks; I l left an explanation of them, from a different style guide, in his mailbox after reading yet another of his cluttered, illegible memos. He didn’t appreciate it.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

A Learning Support on Using Quotation Marks

Here is a learning support on using quotation marks. This is quite a bit of text, some of which, especially the material on typography and word processing software, but that’s only a paragraph, so you’re still stuck with a two-page document.

In any case, this is, to flog this tiresome point again, a Microsoft Word document. In other words, you can do just about anything you want with it. I can see how it could be broken into several pieces and those pieces made into practice worksheets. It’s yours now.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

A Learning Support on the Use of Parentheses

Here is a learning support on the use of parentheses. I’ve published quite a few of these recently; they have all been excerpted from Paul Brians’ book Common Errors in English Usage, which he has posted at the Washington State University website.

This document is really only a paragraph of text, so there is a big blank field on the page. In other words, plenty of room to write some exercises for students to practice using parentheses correctly. Because it is a Microsoft Word document, you have plenty of ways to convert it to your favorite word processor and adapt it for the needs of your classroom.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

A Learning Support on Using Hyphens and Dashes

Here is a learning support on using hyphens and dashes. If you scroll down about 17 posts below this one, you’ll find another learning support simply on hyphenation. As always, Paul Brians does a nice job of presenting the key issues on these forms of punctuation.

Incidentally, if you like Paul Brians’ work, stay tuned here for more of it; I drafted a little over one hundred worksheets using text from his book Common Errors in English Usage–which Professor Brians, amazingly, has made available in its entirety on the Washington State University website. Just punch that hyperlink–and you’re there!

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

A Learning Support on Hyphenation

OK, moving along on this cool, rainy morning in Southwestern Vermont, here is a learning support on hyphenation. Like several others I have posted here recently, this text comes from Paul Brians’ book, which, amazingly, he has made available at no cost on the Washington State University website, Common Errors in English Usage.

As Professor Brians points out, for a full exposition on the rules for hyphenation in English prose one really must consult The Chicago Manual of Style or something like it. This document does supply as much about hyphenation as the high-school, and perhaps even the college, writer needs to know.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

A Learning Support on Using Colons and Semicolons

Here is a learning support on using colons and semicolons in compound sentences. Like a number of these published on this blog recently, this is from Paul Brians’ fine book Common Errors in English Usage.

This passage is a little more than half of the page. There is plenty of room to add supported examples, structured exercises, or whatever else best suits the needs of your classroom. It’s formatted in Microsoft Word, so it is easily exportable and manipulable.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Ellipsis

“Ellipsis: A figure of speech in which a word or number of words, which have little to the logical construction of the sentence, are left out and supplied by the reader.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.