Exclamation Points with Quotation Marks

Posted on Thursday, June 19, 2008, at 3:59 pm

How do you punctuate if something in quotes ends in a necessary exclamation point or question mark but the sentence continues? The Chicago Manual of Style offers this example: Tichnick’s angry reply, “I do not know the man!” took us all by surprise. Note the comma after reply but no comma after the exclamation point.

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Compel vs. Impel

Posted on Thursday, June 19, 2008, at 12:31 am

Both compel and impel contain the idea of using physical or other force to cause something to be done. Compel means to constrain someone in some way to yield or do what one wishes. Examples: to compel a debtor to pay Fate compels us to face danger and trouble. Impel means to provide a strong …

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Ring vs. Rang vs. Rung

Posted on Tuesday, June 10, 2008, at 4:55 am

You can tell when to use ring, rang, or rung by whether you need the present, past, or past participle (used with has or have) form. Present: ring Examples: I always ring the bell after I knock. He rings twice before entering. Past: rang Examples: I rang the bell after I knocked. He rang twice …

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Internal Dialogue: Italics or Quotes?

Posted on Tuesday, June 10, 2008, at 4:47 am

Internal dialogue is used by authors to indicate what a character is thinking. Direct internal dialogue refers to a character thinking the exact thoughts as written, often in the first person. (The first person singular is I, the first person plural is we.) Example: "I lied," Charles thought, "but maybe she will forgive me." Notice …

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Capitalization of Governmental Words

Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2008, at 2:18 am

When you write about or to a governmental agency, do you wonder when to capitalize? Here are some simple rules to help you. Rule: When you use the complete names of departments, capitalize. You may also capitalize a shortened form of a department. Do not capitalize when these words are used as adjectives or generically. …

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