Visit this website for tips on each of the following: – hyphens – dashes – bracket – semicolons http://www.correctpunctuation.co.uk/index.htm
hyphens PREFIXES AND SUFFIXES To avoid multiple letters re-evaluate [reevaluate] If the root word is capitalized pre-Christmas, anti-European With specific prefixes and suffixes ex-wife, vice-chairman, president-elect To avoid ambiguity or awkward pronunciation re-read Where a list of words each have the same prefix or suffix. over- and under-weight COMPOUND WORDS For clarity sit-in, stand-out, Mother-In-Law In compound adjectives that modify what they precede blue-chip company, devil-may-care attitude, up-to-the-minute news WITH FRACTIONS, NUMBERS AND INITIAL LETTERS With fractions and numbers between 21 and 99 twenty-eight and three-quarters WORDS THAT START WITH A CAPITAL LETTER X-ray, T-shirt, U-Turn TO DIVIDE WORDS AT THE RIGHT HAND MARGIN
dashes FOR EMPHASIS The book was great — a really good read. FOR EXPLANATION OR ADDITION IN PLACE OF BRACKETS OR COMMAS. The Colour Of Magic — the first of the series — was written in 1989.
brackets FOR EDITORIAL INFORMATION To amend or supplement the given details His first book [The Colour Of Magic] was written in 1989. To replace phrases for clarity or brevity [The treaty] decreed that no bear should be painted pink.
semicolons TO LINK TWO SEPARATE SENTENCES THAT ARE CLOSELY RELATED The children came home today; they had been away for a week. IN A LIST THAT ALREADY CONTAINS COMMAS Star Trek, created by Gene Roddenberry; Babylon 5, by JMS; Buffy, by Joss Whedon; and Farscape, from the Henson Company.
Not Separated at Birth: The Dash and the Hyphen Visit this website for differences between hyphens and dashes. http://www.infoplease.com/cig/grammar-style/not-separated-at-birth-dash-hyphen-let-add-ellipsis-fun.html The dash and the hyphen are like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito: confused so often they are taken for each other. But like these two fine actors, the dash and the hyphen are not the same, no sireee. A hyphen is one click on the keyboard: - A dash is two clicks on the keyboard: —
The Dash: Long and Lean Basically, the dash is used to show emphasis. Here's how: Use a dash to show a sudden change of thought. Example: An archaeologist—of course I don't mean you—is a person whose career lies in ruins. Use a dash before a summary of what is stated in the sentence. Example: Avoiding work, getting liposuction, becoming a finalist in the George Hamilton Cocoa Butter Open—everything depends on that trust fund.
The Hyphen: Short and Sweet The hyphen, in contrast, is used to show a break in words. Use a hyphen to show a word break at the end of a line. – Example: When you finish The Complete Idiot's Guide to Grammar and Style, Sec- ond Edition, your written work will be as sharp as your appearance. Use a hyphen in certain compound nouns. Example: great-grandmother Use hyphens in fractions and in compound numbers from twenty-one to ninety-nine. Examples: one-half, sixty-six
Visit this website for bracket instruction: http://cutewriting.blogspot.com/2008/06/punctuation-tip-brackets-braces-and.html A bracket is used to make clear some explanation, which is not normally part of the sentence. For instance: It was the 13th chapter of the novel [John Grisham’s The Firm] I was reading. Use brackets to include anything normally omitted (such as a word) for good writing style. John found Amisha in the hotel. Diana had already been with him when she [Amisha] entered. Use the brackets to specify the omitted part in case it causes confusion to the readers. The school is two kilometers from the hospital, and three [kilometers from] the college. Within certain quotations with misspellings, as per Webster guide, you can use [sic] to indicate that the misspelling or minor error. Always italicize ‘sic’, but not the brackets. ‘Sic’ means ‘that’s how it was’. “The rescue workers found seaven [sic] children in the pit.”
Visit this website for semicolon instruction: http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/semicolons.asp Rule 1. Use a semicolon in place of a period to separate two sentences where the conjunction has been left out. Examples: Call me tomorrow; I will give you my answer then. I have paid my dues; therefore, I expect all the privileges listed in the contract.
Rule 2 It is preferable to use a semicolon before introductory words such as namely, however, therefore, that is, i.e., for example, e.g., or for instance when they introduce a complete sentence. It is also preferable to use a comma after the introductory word. Examples: You will want to bring many backpacking items; for example, sleeping bags, pans, and warm clothing will make the trip better. As we discussed, you will bring two items; i.e., a sleeping bag and a tent are not optional.
Rule 3 Use the semicolon to separate units of a series when one or more of the units contain commas. Example: This conference has people who have come from Boise, Idaho; Los Angeles, California; and Nashville, Tennessee.