• Proofreading,  Punctuation

    Hyphens v en-dashes

    Hyphen, en-dashes, and em-dashes are very similar, commonly-confused pieces of punctuation. Hyphens A hyphen is used to join two words. There should be no spaces on either side of a hyphen. Example Lizzie Cass-Maran A well-read book A dark-blue sea En-dashes An en-dash is used to indicate a break, where a comma or semi colon may possibly be used instead. It’s generally a bit less formal. These are called parenthetical en-dashes. There should be a space on either side of a parenthetical en-dash. Example Wait – stop! A standard keyboard only contains a hyphen key. When you type a space on either side of a hyphen, most programmes will automatically…

  • Proofreading,  Punctuation

    Using quotation marks – single or double?

    People sometimes get confused about whether to use single or double quotation marks (also known as ‘inverted commas’). The answer, as with so many things when it comes to proofreading, is that it’s up to you, as long as you are consistent. You will probably want to use different types of quotation marks for reported speech, and for other uses.

  • Proofreading,  Punctuation

    Correct use of apostrophes

    Apostrophes An apostrophe is used for two purposes: To show one or more missing letters: Don’t (do not) They’re (they are) Claire’s (Claire is) To show ownership: Claire’s bucket, the children’s toys, Jesus’s disciples. Jesus’s? Ok, so this one depends on your style guide again. Some people prefer to leave out the second s and simply write : Jesus’ disciples. A good rule of thumb is to examine what you would say out loud. You might say: Jesuses disciples, or Chrises pen. However, you would never say: Studenteses Union So when something ends in ‘s’ because it is plural, and you also want to show that something belongs to these,…