Symbols and Punctuation

  1. Ode To The Schwa

    How do I love thee? Let me count the schwas. Not exactly what Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote in Sonnet 43 . . . but we like it all the same. Why? Because it finally pays tribute to the most frequent vowel sound in English: the schwa. What is the schwa and how does it sound? Simply put, the schwa is a reduced vowel sound written as …

  2. The Irritating History of ALL CAPS

    What’s up with ALL CAPS? You’re reading an email from a friend one morning, casually sipping a cup of joe, when all of a sudden, BAM. There it is. “I’ve been working WAY TOO MUCH lately, but I’m hanging in there. Dinner Friday?” Wait a minute is that— *Gasp* IT IS. AGH! ALL CAPS! Is that how you’d react in IRL? Probably not, but for …

  3. getty

    Did You Just Interrupt . . . My Sentence?

    What’s an interrupter? Interrupters—like this little guy right here—are squeezing into more and more contemporary writing. They’re often the goofy/sarcastic “wink-wink-nudge-nudge” asides writers play with in nonacademic writing and online content. Also called insertions, interrupting phrases, or parenthetical expressions, interrupters are words, phrases, or clauses that break the flow of writing—because if the author feels like it, why not?—to offer additional, can’t-be-held-back, or spur-of-the-moment thoughts …

  4. em dash

    Getting To Know The Em Dash

    What is an em dash? The em dash is an incredibly versatile punctuation mark that can be used instead of parentheses, commas, colons, or quotation marks in a sentence. The em dash (—) sets off a word or clause and adds emphasis. Or, it can signal an interruption (see our article on interrupting sentences for more on that!) or amplification (“expanding”) of an idea. It’s also …

  5. miss mrs ms

    What Are Mr. And Mrs. Short For?

    What are Mr. and Mrs. short for? History and etiquette tell us that Mister and Missus, known by the contractions Mr. and Mrs., are the proper ways to address men and women. Beneath the surface of these everyday honorifics lies a linguistic glitch though. And, it has created social havoc since “Mrs.” entered mainstream English in the 17th century. Where did Mister and Missus come …

  6. What’s The Difference Between “i.e.” And “e.g.”?

    What’s the difference between i.e. and e.g.? They may be small, but their power to befuddle writers and speakers of the English language is mighty. The term i.e. is a shortening of the Latin expression id est, which translates to “that is.” It is used to introduce a rephrasing or elaboration on something that has already been stated. The term e.g. is an abbreviation of …

  7. When to Use a Comma

    Let’s Pause And Talk About Commas

    What is a comma? You’ve probably heard a lot of things about the comma and may have questions about when to use a comma. A comma (,) signifies a short pause in a sentence. It can also divide clauses (“parts of a sentence”) or items in a list. It is often used to create division or to improve the clarity of a sentence. When to use a comma …

  8. What’s The #’s Real Name?

    How do we currently use the # symbol? On Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, you tag your friends with the @ symbol and you tag topics with the #. If you see something that says “#WordoftheDay,” the tweet or post has something to do with Word of the Day. And, once you click on that marked topic, you’ll likely see all public posts about it. It’s a …

  9. Fontastic: The History Behind the Top Fonts to Use on a Resume

    These fonts are great for telling your own story, so why not discover theirs?

  10. Unlock the Full Potential of Punctuation Marks

    Punctuation marks have a lot of different uses. The period, question mark, and exclamation point are used to end sentences. The comma, semicolon, colon, and dash indicate a pause or break. Parentheses contain words, while hyphens combine them. Apostrophes show the omission of letters, and also show possession. Ending a Sentence A period (.) ends any sentence that forms a statement. Periods are also used …

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