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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 are comprised of two types: abbreviations and contractions. Not understanding the difference between these … Read more

Dash it all! Or, how I learned to work with en dashes and em dashes.

Em 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 armed and armoured infantryman organized into tight … 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 mostly used 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

How to Use the Abbreviations i.e. and e.g.

i.e. and e.g. come from abbreviated Latin terms. i.e. comes from the Latin id est, which means ‘that is’, ‘namely’ or ‘in other words’. e.g. comes from the Latin exempli gratia, which means ‘for example’. Here are some examples of how to use e.g. correctly: ‘John had a large collection of classic cars, e.g. a … Read more

Apostrophes, Parentheses, Brackets and Ellipses

Apostrophes ’ Apostrophes are very handy indicators to use in sentences. They are used to indicate possession. Here are some examples: ‘John’s car was a different colour from my sister’s car.’ ‘I turned the corner to be confronted by my manager’s assistant.’ ‘The politician met his mother’s expectations but failed to meet his electors’ expectations.’ If the apostrophe is not used, then Johns and sisters … Read more