1. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Random Punctuation Questions

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by lostinwebspace, Mar 18, 2013.

    Hi, everyone. (I think I) promise last one for a little while. I have some punctuation questions for you. Tiny details. I left the "questionable" parts in asterisks.

    On the wall was stenciled*,* “Parking Level 3.” Should that comma be there?

    He wore a name tag that read*,* “Hello, My Name is Craig R." Same here. Comma?

    “If I understand properly, your question is ‘*Do* ghosts exist*.*’” Should I capitalize the word "can" and should the period be a question mark instead?

    “The expression is ‘*Carpe* diem.’ Should "carpe" be capitalized?

    two double*-*A batteries Should that hyphen be there?

    “The sign didn’t say*,* ‘Beware of dog.’” Comma or no comma?

    Rule number one is ‘*Listen* to your father.’” Capital letter for "listen"?

    The wall had *“P3”* painted on its wall. Should I have quotation marks there?

    "Unless the next words out of your mouth are ‘*The* house is yours,' leave me alone." Capital letter for "the"?

    I know these might not be the best constructed sentences--they're still in mid-edit--but these serve as examples of some questions I have on this type of punctuation anyway. Also, if you notice any other technical errors, feel free to point them out. Thanks!
     
  2. rhduke
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    rhduke Contributing Member Reviewer

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    Correct me someone if I'm wrong, but there really is no rule that defines whether you should put punctuation before quoting a sign or not in creative writing. It's up to you as the writer. In the case of: “The sign didn’t say*,* ‘Beware of dog.’", it entirely depends on how the person is speaking and not about grammatical correctness. Does he pause when he speaks it or not?

    There's a book called Tristram Shandy (for god's sake don't read it), and throughout it he rapes and molests the grammer left and right. If you want to put a colon, a semi-colon, a comma, or a smiley face then do it. As long as you aren't making it impossible to read, and maintain a writer's credibility with the rest of your grammer, I really don't think it makes a difference what you do with the examples you gave.
     
  3. E. C. Scrubb
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    E. C. Scrubb Active Member

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    Here's my thoughts . . .

    On the wall was stenciled, "Parking Level 3."

    He wore a name tag that read, "Hello, My Name is Craig R."

    "If I understand properly, your question is, 'Do ghosts exist?'"

    The expression is, carpe diem. (Italics because you're referring to the words/expression itself, rather than what it means).

    Two AA batteries.

    "The sign didn't say, 'beware of dog.'"

    "Rule number one is, 'Listen to your father.'" But, it could also be. "Didn't I say that 'rule number one is listen to your father'?"

    The wall had "P3" painted on it.

    "Unless the next words out of your mouth are 'the house is yours,' leave me alone." (I struggled with using italics here instead, but since you wrote it as a quote that he wants to hear, I kept it as quoted speech.

    This'll be interesting to see what others say!
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    On the wall was stenciled*,* “Parking Level 3.” Should that comma be there?

    ...yes... the rule is the same as if you wrote:
    He said, "It's on parking level 3."

    He wore a name tag that read*,* “Hello, My Name is Craig R." Same here. Comma?

    ...ditto above...

    “If I understand properly, your question is ‘*Do* ghosts exist*.*’” Should I capitalize the word "can" and should the period be a question mark instead?

    ...'can' isn't present... if you meant 'do' see below for correct form:

    "If I understand properly, your question is, 'Do ghosts exist?'"


    “The expression is ‘*Carpe* diem.’ Should "carpe" be capitalized?

    ...no, since it's not the first word of a sentence...

    two double*-*A batteries Should that hyphen be there?

    ...yes...

    “The sign didn’t say*,* ‘Beware of dog.’” Comma or no comma?

    ...yes... see explanation after first example...

    Rule number one is ‘*Listen* to your father.’” Capital letter for "listen"?

    ...yes...

    The wall had *“P3”* painted on its wall. Should I have quotation marks there?

    ...yes, but a wall can't have a wall, can it?...

    "Unless the next words out of your mouth are ‘*The* house is yours,' leave me alone." Capital letter for "the"?

    ...yes, as it's a full sentence...

    I know these might not be the best constructed sentences--they're still in mid-edit--but these serve as examples of some questions I have on this type of punctuation anyway. Also, if you notice any other technical errors, feel free to point them out. Thanks![/QUOTE]
     
  5. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Thanks again, everyone!
     
  6. Darkhorse
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    Darkhorse Member

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    I agree with EC and Mamma.

    I have one extra point though. Perhaps you should consider the following:


     

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