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The Semicolon and Its Usage

The semicolon is a commonly misunderstood punctuation mark. It may be useful to think of it as something between a comma and a full stop; it both separates and links the clauses that it appears between. Although opinions vary about the instances in which a semicolon is required, the three usages that follow are widely … Read more

Inclusive Language

Inclusive language has a simple purpose: to ensure that a piece of communication–it may be written or spoken–does not discriminate against groups of people in the community. Discrimination can range from exclusion to derogatory comments and can be based on gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation or other perceived differences. Often disparaged as ‘political … Read more

Shortened Words and Symbols

The correct usage of shortened words and symbols can be confusing for some writers. This does not need to be the case: there are a few basic rules to understand that can ensure these are used correctly and consistently. Shortened words comprise two types: abbreviations and contractions. Not understanding the difference between these two types … Read more

Dash It All! Or, How I Learned to Work with En Dashes and Em dashes.

Dashes that separate parts of a sentence Dashes are used to separate parts of a sentence, especially when there is an abrupt change from one clause to another, or if special emphasis is required when adding information to an existing clause. See the following sentence for an example: Greek infantry, based on the hoplite—the heavily … Read more

Hyphens, En Dashes and Em Dashes

When and Where to Use Hyphens A hyphen is a small dash and is the most frequently used of the three punctuation marks. It is used mostly to join words together. A simple example is joining two or more words that describe a noun when they appear before the noun, such as in the following … Read more