The Write Stuff
August 2014 Volume 10 Issue 8
More Punctuation Pointers
The response to last month’s punctuation pointers (colons, semicolons and quotation marks) was great–so here are some more.
Apostrophes. Use these (‘) to denote possession or take the place of the missing letter(s) in contractions.
Chicago’s downtown is spectacular on beautiful summer days; strolling around Millennium Park really can’t be beat.
Parentheses. Use these ( ) to set off copy that adds specificity, as in the initial sentence of this article, or to provide an aside, taking care to ensure your verbiage complements the text it follows. For phrases (like the first example below), the punctuation goes outside the parentheses. If your aside is a complete sentence (like the second example), the punctuation goes inside them. Mid-sentence parentheses should be used with caution, since it’s important to ensure asides don’t detract from the flow of the copy; if you sense you’re leading readers astray, consider putting it in a separate sentence.
For the fourth straight season, the Cubs won the game my nephew and I attended at Wrigley Field (and my niece was a good luck charm as well this year).
In February, the Sharks and Kings will play a hockey game outdoors in the 49ers’ new stadium. (I attended the 2009 Winter Classic in frigid Wrigley and it was a day I’ll never forget.)
Enhance your writing by using punctuation appropriately. Still to come in future issues: exclamation points, brackets, ellipses, periods, commas and more.
This time of year provides me with a number of things to celebrate:
August 23 (2001): The day I moved to San Diego
August 31: My birthday (shared with Richard Gere  and Sara Ramirez [Dr. Callie Torres on Grey’s Anatomy, 1975]), among others
September 1 (2004): The day I became an entrepreneur
Moving and getting older are two things I’ve done plenty of times before, but going out on my own took a big leap of faith. I thank everyone who’s helped me in any way over the past 10 years.
It Takes Two
What do the words “both,” “either” and “neither” have in common? All of them are used when talking about two people or things:
Both my niece and my nephew wish summer vacation was longer.
Either my niece or my nephew has to walk the family dog, Millie, when their mom is not around.
Neither my niece nor my nephew is a fan of getting up early.
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