NSU Publications Style Manual

42 The en dash is shorter than the em dash and is used to connect continuing or inclusive numbers. • 1968–72, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., pp. 38–45 The hyphen is used for numbers that are not inclusive, such as phone numbers; Social Security numbers; or for hyphenated compound words, names, or modifiers. • 800-541-6682, word-of-mouth, Olivia Newton-John, a fast-moving car ellipsis Use to indicate any omission from within a quoted passage. Three dots—beginning with a space, and with an additional space after each dot—indicate an omission within a sentence or between the first and last words of a quoted fragment. If the words preceding an ellipsis constitute a grammatically complete sentence, place a period at the end of the sentence, add a space, and then add the three dots, with spaces in between them. Important: Unless you have a clearly defensible reason, don’t use an ellipsis as a “trailing off” end to a phrase or sentence. exclamation point Use exclamation points sparingly. They can make writing look both juvenile and falsely enthusiastic. hyphen Other than for word divisions and compound modifiers, hyphen use should be limited. Hyphens are commonly, but erroneously, used where em dashes and en dashes should be used. See also dash. parentheses Remember that parentheses, though sometimes quite serviceable, are jarring to the reader. If you find them cropping up often in your writing, simplify your sentences or your thoughts; try including the parenthetical material some other way. If the parenthetical material is a fragment and comes at the end of your sentence, place the period outside the parenthesis (as with this example). But if the parenthetical material stands alone as a sentence, include the period within the parenthesis. (Such are the basics of correct punctuation.) period Periods always go inside quotation marks. See also academic degrees in this manual. plurals Numbers and noun coinages: simply add an s. • YMCAs, the 1920s, CPAs, lasers, the ’90s, Ph.D.s Single letters: add ’s. • x’s and y’s, p’s and q’s, all A’s Italic plurals: put the final s (or ’s) in roman type. • three Rubaiyats Words as words: don’t use an apostrophe. • His speech had too many ifs, ands, and buts. See also apostrophe; check manual for individual words such as curriculum and memorandum. quotation marks If you’re striving for an ironic or quaint effect with a particular word or phrase, or if you’re making the first reference to an unfamiliar expression, you may set it off with quotation marks. • I was tickled to learn that Patti had “gored his ox.” Otherwise—except for direct quotations—use quotation marks sparingly. Periods and commas go inside. Dashes, semicolons, question marks, and exclamation points go inside only if they’re part of the quoted matter; otherwise, put them outside. Alternate between double and single quotation marks when you have quotations within quotations. • Tamara said, “Ginger told me only yesterday, ‘I realize that accusing Patti of “goring his ox” was going a bit too far.’”

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