Welcome to your GrammarBook.com E-Newsletter.
"This site and The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation are just what I was looking for. The quizzes really help me. Thanks a million!"
- Kathy S.
"I love receiving your newsletters. I enjoy learning something new each week and even find myself correcting my own grammar when I'm speaking."
- Margaret S.
"The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation really helped me study for my MBA entrance exam."
- Shrikant A.
Rules Do Change
Rose W. recently wrote in after noticing that many people seem to be putting only a single space rather than a double space after sentences in their documents. Today, let's rerun Jane's grammar tip from 2007 addressing this and a couple other topics.
Spacing after Periods, Colons, Question Marks, and Exclamation Marks
Originally, typewriters had monospaced fonts (whether letters were skinny or fat, they took up the same amount of space), so two spaces after ending punctuation marks such as the period were used to make the text more legible. However, most computer fonts present no difficulty with proportion or legibility, so use just one space after a period, colon, question mark, or exclamation point at the end of a sentence. You will not be struck by lightning, I promise!
Quotation marks and Punctuation
In Grandma’s day, a period used with quotation marks followed logic: Example: Myrtle said the word “darn”. The period went outside the quote because only the last word was in quotation marks, not the entire sentence. Example: Myrtle said, “I would never say that.” The period went inside the quotation mark because the entire sentence is a quote.
Today, in American English usage, the period always goes inside the quotation mark.
Example: Myrtle said the word “darn.”
This does not follow logic, but it makes life easier for those of us who have enough to think about besides punctuation.
As time has gone on, we have shortened some words and dropped the former plural form.
Example: The words memo and memos used to be memorandum and memoranda.
With the word data, we no longer see the singular datum used at all. Data is now normally used in both the singular and plural form.
Example: The data are being tabulated. The data is useful to the scientists.
Yet other words still retain their original spelling and plural form.
Example: curriculum (singular) and curricula (plural).
In “the old days,” you may have been scolded for starting a sentence with but, and, or because. But you wouldn’t have deserved that scolding. Just make sure that if you start sentences with these words, you follow them with independent clauses.
But she would never say such a thing!
Because of this bee sting, my arm is swollen.
And washed the car.
Because she asked.
Due to the E-Newsletter's large readership, please submit your English usage questions through GrammarBook.com's "Grammar Blog."
Free BONUS Quiz For You!
[[firstname]], because you are a subscriber to the newsletter, you get access to one of the Subscription Members-Only Quizzes. Click here to take a Punctuation Quiz and get your scores and explanations instantly!
"So convenient...hundreds of quizzes in one click."
[[firstname]], Subscribe to receive hundreds of English usage quizzes not found anywhere else!
- Take the quizzes online or download and copy them.
- Get scored instantly.
- Find explanations for every quiz answer.
- Reproduce the quizzes to your heart's content.
- EASY to use.
- No software to download.
- No setup time.
- A real person to help you if you have any questions!
"Fun to test my skills!" "The explanations really help...thanks!"
Your choice: Subscribe at the $29.95 or $99.95 level ($30 off - regularly $129.95).
"I download the quizzes for my students who don't have computer access."
Subscribe today to receive hundreds of English usage quizzes not found anywhere else!
"Makes learning English FUN!"
Don't need all the quizzes at once?
You can now purchase the same quizzes individually for ONLY 99¢ each. Purchase yours here.
Get Yours Today!
Get Amazon’s #1 Bestseller in Four Categories!
#1 in Grammar
#1 in Reading
#1 in Lesson Planning
#1 in Vocabulary
The Blue Book of Grammar
and Punctuation by Jane Straus
An indispensable tool for busy professionals, teachers, students, homeschool families, editors, writers, and proofreaders.
Now available in print AND as an e-Book! Over 2000 copies are purchased every month!
Order Your Copy Today!
- Hundreds of Grammar, Punctuation, Capitalization, and Usage Rules
- Real-World Examples
- Spelling / Vocabulary / Confusing Words
- Quizzes with Answers
View the entire contents online
Discounts available for schools, bookstores, and multiple copies. Order Today!
Proof-reading is a dying art, wouldn't you say?
- Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
- War Dims Hope for Peace
- If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
- Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
Learn all about who and whom, affect and effect, subjects and verbs, adjectives and adverbs, commas, semicolons, quotation marks, and much more by just sitting back and enjoying these easy-to-follow lessons. Tell your colleagues (and boss), children, teachers, and friends. Click here to watch.