Plain English Part 114

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He began by saying, "The last words of Ferrer, 'Long live the modern school' might serve as the text for this lecture."

The speaker replied, "It was Karl Marx who said, 'Government always belongs to those who control the wealth of the country.'"

You will note in this sentence that the quotation within the quotation occurs at the end of the sentence so there are three apostrophes used after it, the single apostrophe to indicate the included quotation and the double apostrophe which follows the entire quotation.


+553.+ Marks of punctuation are (except the interrogation point and the exclamation point which are explained later) placed inside the quotation marks. For example:

A wise man said, "Know thyself."

Notice that the period is placed after the word _thyself_ and is followed by the quotation marks.

"We can easily rout the enemy," declared the speaker.

Notice that the comma is placed after _enemy_, and before the quotation marks.

+554.+ The Interrogation Point and the Exclamation Point are placed within the quotation marks if they refer _only_ to the words quoted, but if they belong to the entire sentence they should be placed outside the quotation marks. For example:

He said, "Will you come now?"

Did he say, "Will you come now"?

He said, "What a beautiful night!"

How wonderfully inspiring is Walt Whitman's poem, "The Song of the Open Road"!

+555.+ Sometimes parenthetical or explanatory words are inserted within a quotation. These words should be set off by commas, and both parts of the quotation enclosed in quotation marks. For example:

"I am aware," he said, "that you do not agree with me."

"But why," the speaker was asked, "should you make such a statement?"

"I do not believe," he replied, "that you have understood me."


+556.+ The apostrophe is used to indicate the omission of letters or syllables, as: _He doesn't_, instead of _does not_; _We're_, instead of _we are_; _I'm_, instead of _I am_; _ it's_, instead of _it is_; _ne'er_, instead of _never_; _they'll_, instead of _they will_, etc.

+557.+ The apostrophe is also used to denote possession. In the single form of the nouns it precedes the _s_. In the plural form of nouns ending in _s_ it follows the _s_. For example:

Boy's, man's, girl's, king's, friend's, etc.

Boys', men's, girls', kings', friends', etc.

Note that the apostrophe is not used with the possessive p.r.o.nouns _ours_, _yours_, _its_, _theirs_, _hers_.

+558.+ The apostrophe is used to indicate the plural of letters, figures or signs. For example:

Dot your _i's_ and cross your _t's_.

He seems unable to learn the table of 8's and 9's.

Do not make your _n's_ and _u's_ so much alike.

+559.+ The apostrophe is used to mark the omission of the century in dates, as: '87 instead of 1887, '15 instead of 1915.


+560.+ The hyphen is used between the parts of a compound word or at the end of a line to indicate that a word is divided. We have so many compound words in our language which we have used so often that we have almost forgotten that they were compound words so it is not always easy to decide whether the hyphen belongs in a word or not. As, for example; we find such words as _schoolhouse_, _bookkeeper_, _railway_ and many others which are, in reality, compound words and in the beginning were written with the hyphen. We have used them so frequently and their use as compound words has become so commonplace, that we no longer use the hyphen in writing them. Yet frequently you will find them written with the hyphen by some careful writer.

+561.+ As a general rule the parts of all words which are made by uniting two or more words into one should be joined by hyphens, as:

Men-of-war, knee-deep, half-hearted, full-grown, mother-in-law, etc.

+562.+ The numerals expressing a compound number should be united by a hyphen, as; _forty-two_, _twenty-seven_, _thirty-nine_, etc.

+563.+ When the word _self_ is used with an adverb, a noun or an adjective, it is always connected by the hyphen, as; _self-confidence_, _self-confident_, _self-confidently_, _self-command_, _self-a.s.sertive_, _self-a.s.serting_, etc.

+564.+ When the word _fold_ is added to a number of more than one syllable, the hyphen is always used, as; _thirty-fold_, _forty-fold_, _fifty-fold_, etc. If the numeral has but one syllable, do not use the hyphen, as; _twofold_, _threefold_, _fourfold_, etc.

+565.+ When fractions are written in words instead of figures always use the hyphen, as; _one-half_, _one-fourth_, _three-sevenths_, _nine-twelfths_, etc.

+566.+ The words _half_ and _quarter_, when used with any word, should be connected by a hyphen, as; _half-dollar_, _quarter-pound_, _half-skilled_, _half-barbaric_, _half-civilized_, _half-dead_, _half-spent_, etc.

+567.+ Sometimes we coin a phrase for temporary use in which the words are connected by the hyphen. For example:

It was a never-to-be-forgotten day.

He wore a sort of I-told-you-so air.

They were fresh-from-the-pen copies.


There are a few other marks of punctuation which we do not often use in writing but which we find on the printed page. It is well for us to know the meaning of these marks.

+568.+ The caret (^) is used to mark the omission of a letter or word or a number of words. The omitted part is generally written above, and the caret shows where it should be inserted. For example:

s I cannot give you this permis ion.

^ received I have just a letter from him.

Please write your matriculation number on all examination and all letters papers sent in to the College.

The above examples ill.u.s.trate the use of the caret with the omission of a letter, a word or phrase.

+569.+ If a letter or ma.n.u.script is not too long, it should always be rewritten and the omissions properly inserted. Occasionally, however, we are in a hurry and our time is too limited to rewrite an entire letter because of the omission of a single letter or word so we can insert it by the use of the caret. If, however, there are many mistakes, the letter or paper should be rewritten, for the too frequent use of the caret indicates carelessness in writing and does not produce a favorable impression upon the recipient of your letter or ma.n.u.script.


+570.+ Sometimes a long dash (--------) or succession of asterisks (* *

* * * *) or of points (... ...) is used to indicate the omission of a portion of a sentence or a discourse. In printed matter usually the asterisks are used to indicate an omission. In typewritten matter usually a succession of points is used to indicate an omission. In writing, these are difficult to make and the omission of the portion of material is usually indicated by a succession of short dashes (-- -- -- --).

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Plain English Part 114 summary

You're reading Plain English. This manga has been translated by Updating. Author(s): Marian Wharton. Already has 604 views.

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