Symbols and Punctuation

  1. When X Always = 10

    Roman numerals are a collection of symbols that make up the number system that was used by the ancient Romans. Today, Roman numerals are more commonly used in titles, to number parts of works, in music theory, and on clock faces. Where do you see Roman numerals most often? The Symbols The Roman numeral system uses only seven symbols: I, V, X, L, C, D, …

  2. Quiz Yourself: How Well Do You Know Roman Numerals?

    Did you use Roman numerals today? You may not think of them often, but if you’ve ever read a clock or talked about the Super Bowl, you’ve probably needed to remember V = 5. Check to see how well you know them in our quiz!

  3. Is It “i.e.” Or “e.g.”? Take The Quiz

    Do you use i.e. or e.g. often in your writing? Take this quiz to test your understanding of these two abbreviations. If you need a refresher on these commonly confused terms, read about the differences between i.e. and e.g. How did you do? Share your results in the comments!

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    What’s Your Punctuation Mark?

  5. What Is the X in Xmas?

    Here’s a holiday surprise that only the dictionary can provide. Do you find the word “Xmas,” as an abbreviation for Christmas, offensive? Many people do. You won’t find Xmas in church songbooks or even on many greeting cards. Xmas is popularly associated with a trend towards materialism, and sometimes the target of people who decry the emergence of general “holiday” observance instead of particular cultural and …

  6. How To Use Common Punctuation Marks

    A discussion of each mark follows, in alphabetical order by name of mark. Also includes how to divide words; use of numerals/numbers; possessives; and common errors in punctuation.

  7. Let Me Count the Ways: 10 Numerical Idioms

  8. Solving the punctuation puzzle

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    The Curious Chronicle of the Letter C

    The English language is infamously difficult in part because its spelling befuddles even native speakers as letters take on different sounds depending on what letters surround it. Few letters exemplify this trouble more than the third letter of the English alphabet: C. Think about these words: cease, coin, chic, indict, and discrepancy.

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    Word Fact: What’s the Name for the Dot Over the i and j?

    While many languages, such as Arabic and Hebrew, add specific accents to the letters or characters throughout their alphabet, the English alphabet has only two letters that include a diacritic dot. This mark is added to a letter to signal a change in either the sound or meaning of a character. What is the additional name of this curious dot that hovers over the ninth …