Carolanne Reynolds


My first plea is for the serial comma, also called the Oxford or Harvard comma.

See period, wch is what it's called in North America.

What the UK calls a 'full stop'.
End of sentence.
[Hey!  that wasn't a sentence!
Well, you know what I mean.]



Please also only put in quotation marks that which is being quoted.  Think of them as parentheses and use the same rule.
That's known as a 'hat trick'.
Don't put inside what isn't being quoted or referred to.
The play, "Hamlet", was the first by Shakespeare that John read.

A bit of history:
In typesetting, the little , and . wd tend to break off but the larger ; or : etc didn't.
Typesetters found they could save space if they put the comma and the period inside quotation marks, but left the rest (colons, semi-colons, question marks, exclamation marks) outside. We are not short of space today in papers or on computers but, in any case, that's less important than enclosing only what is correct/quoted to be enclosed.
And no reason not to be consistent.



Forming the possessive is not complicated at all.  A simple rule really.

Add ['s] EXCEPT if the word is PLURAL and ends in [s], then just ['].

Many people remember something about a word ending in S but forget that it has to be plural.

That's why the movie is Bridget Jones's Diary and you look for the Joneses' house to find the Joneses' daughter.
Go to the boss's office or think about the bosses' meeting.
Mr Wood's name is not the same as Tiger Woods's name.  Their families are the Woods and the Woodses.

Trevor Lautens's columns are in the North Shore News.
The Lautenses live in West Vancouver, the Lautenses' house is in the western part.