Don’t Let the Em Dash Confuse You, Here’s How to Use It

Punctuation.

I can visualize readers cringing as they read that word.

“I don’t understand all those rules and I don’t want to.”

“Let editors worry about the correct punctuation.”

“I just want to write, not worry about where to put a comma.”

Do you see yourself in the above sentences? [Read more…]

3 Rules on Using Commas

The Comma, a few simple guidelines on using commas

There are those of you who prefer to let editors or proofreaders worry about commas, but if you’re hiring a freelance editor or proofreader, learning some punctuation basics will save you money because he/she will spend less time fixing your manuscript.

I’ll be the first to say the rules governing the English language are confusing. I’ve often wondered why there seems to be an exception to every rule—sometimes 2 or 3.

I reference my Chicago Manual of Style regularly. I also spend time in my Grammar Desk Reference, learning the whys and wherefores of grammar so I can correctly punctuate a sentence.

Today, I’d like to give some guidelines for commas I see most misused. [Read more…]

How to Irritate an Editor

Punctuation is an aspect of English with which many writers struggle. But we must face the reality: incorrect punctuation raises a red flag for editors and makes them more inclined to toss your submission into the trash.

I’m not talking about a missing comma here and there, but flagrant incorrect punctuation. As much as some might hate it, correct punctuation is critically important to your submission. 

So today, let’s take a look at the ellipsis and the em dash—two punctuation marks that get misused and often over used.

[Read more…]

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