QUESTION We have a sentence which contains a book title, and the title ends with an exclamation point. The title is at the end of the sentence. Should we also add a period?Example: My favorite book is Oh, the Places You'll Go!.Any ideas?
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Danbury, Connecticut Wed, May 24, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE In response to your question, I've added a note to the brief section on italics and the uses of the exclamation mark. The answer, though, is that you should allow the italicized exclamation mark (since it is part of the title) to suffice (don't add a period).
Authority: Chicago Manual of Style 14th ed. U of Chicago P: Chicago. 1993. p. 159.
QUESTION What are the rules for using By and Until with time. Korean dictionaries translate these two words as having the same meaning.Example: I will be home by nine. I won't be home until nine. SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Seoul, Korea Wed, May 24, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE There's not a lot of difference here, but the difference is worth noting. The first sentence means that you could arrive home at, say, eight o'clock, or eight-thirty; if you're not home by nine o'clock, you could be considered late. The second sentence, with "until," means that the earliest you should be expected is nine o'clock (and you might be home later than that).
QUESTION Should there be a space between a number and an abbreviation?i.e. 17 mm or 17mm SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Saginaw, Michigan Wed, May 24, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE We need to put a space between the number and the abbreviation, but we also need to make sure, when we edit our text, that the word processor didn't try to put a line break between the number and the abbreviation. There are ways of inserting a "hard-space" so the word-processor won't do that, but it varies from program to program. In Word, you hold down the option key while hitting the space bar.
QUESTION In the following sentence is the main verb singular or plural? Why?
- Denominational watchers agree that surveillance of and pressure on their groups has or have increased.
- Antique dealers observe that interest in and respect for fine antiques make or makes for creative discussions.
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE San Clemente, California Thu, May 25, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE The only reason for using a singular verb in these constructions would be that the two compounded subjects have somehow become one. I don't think that's happened in either case, in spite of the fact that the prepositions that follow the verbs share a common object ("groups" and "antiques," respectively). I think you want a plural verb in both cases: "have" and "make." To provide for other opinions or better explanations, I will leave an e-mail icon here.
QUESTION What is the difference between the adverbs "instinctually" and "instinctively", and when should each one be used? SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Banff, Alberta, Canada Fri, May 26, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE According to Burchfield, instinctually is used primarily in scientific or psychological/sociological treatises. It's a relative newcomer, being coined in the 1920s in sociological journals. There's doesn't appear to be any difference between the two words, at least from my reading of a layman's dictionary. I'd recommend using instinctively, unless you're writing your master's thesis in psychology or sociology, in which event you probably need, for your own comfort, to learn whatever distinctions exist between the words (if there are any).
Authority: The New Fowler's Modern English Usage edited by R.W. Burchfield. Clarendon Press: Oxford, England. 1996. Used with the permission of Oxford University Press.
QUESTION In a children's story I have written for a high school class, the main character is Quackers. Can you tell me how to write this sentence:"Quackers mother told him there would be no place for him in the city."Should Quackers in this sense, be written: Quackers' mother or Quackers's mother? Thanks! SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Canton, Michigan Fri, May 26, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE When a name ends in "s" and that "s" takes on a "z" sound, we usually don't add another "s" when forming the possessive. In other words, we might write "Chris's mother," but we would write "Quackers' mother." "Quackers's mother" wouldn't be wrong, but "Quackers' mother" is easier to read and say. Good luck with Quackers!
QUESTION Which is correct: "all of the sudden" or "all of a sudden"? SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Eden, Texas Fri, May 26, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE "All of a sudden" means "all at once" or "sooner than expected." The word "sudden" has an obsolete meaning "emergency" but even that wouldn't make sense in "all of the sudden."
Authority for this note: Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Electronic Edition. 1994. Used with permission.
QUESTION I'm trying to use the plural of Ph.D. in a sentence. What's the correct form.Ex- We recruit Ph.D.s(?) for Fortune 500 companies. SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Raleigh, North Carolina Fri, May 26, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE You might consider dropping the periods in this abbreviation, PhD, and then form the plural simply by adding an "s": PhDs. Generally, though, abbreviations that contain periods form their possessive by adding an apostrophe + "s": "We have two M.A.'s and three Ph.D.'s on our staff.
Authority: Chicago Manual of Style 14th ed. U of Chicago P: Chicago. 1993. p. 198.
QUESTION Is this sentence correct?We take care of you mind, body and spirit. SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Kansas City, Missouri Fri, May 26, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE We could really use some kind of break between "you" and the list of our parts that you're going to take care of. Something like "We take care of you mind, body, and spirit." Or even a colon: "We take care of you: mind, body, and spirit."
QUESTION Which is correct?
And why? Thanks!
- One out of five dentists prefer ABC toothpaste.
- One in five dentists prefer ABC toothpaste.
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Dever, Colorado Fri, May 26, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I think you can express the ratio either way. But you could also use a singular verb to match up with "one," the singular subject: "prefers" (not "prefer"). I'd prefer "One out of five dentists prefers ABC toothpaste," myself.
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