ASE Punctuation Insights
Merriam Webster's Online Dictionary
There are different things in the industry that have not been covered in the recognized resources. ASE thinks it's time we have a central location to cover some of those issues.
Tips for dashes:
Unless you're using a dash of resumption, running text should never have a dash at the beginning of a line like so:
A. I was going to the house when the fire exploded
-- fire exploded right in front of me.
With your cursor in front of "fire," use the dash shortcut in your program so it will change to this:
exploded -- fire exploded...
Just because a dash of interruption is needed does not mean that a dash of resumption is warranted. All of the text must flow contextually in order to warrant the dash of resumption.
When you are editing and you find an unusual formatting situation, strive for consistency.
Much more to come in the near future!!
Tidbits of Wisdom...
Get in the habit of looking up all words that you question in the dictionary. Your brain can't remember all of them. Use the resources that are available.
Determining whether or not hyphens are needed can be very challenging. If two or more words are being used to convey as single idea and are followed by a noun, a hyphen is warranted.
But this does not apply with:
1. Most words ending in ly.
2. Open compound words that are used as nouns (a compound whose word components are separated by a space in printing or writing) Good explanation of this: http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/GRAMMAR/compounds.htm
Examples: attorney general, middle class, common sense.
Get in the habit of looking the words up in the online dictionary.
3. Age: years old (notice the plural of "years)
7 years old will never need a hyphen
It happened when I was a 7-year-old (used as a noun) - requires the hyphen.
4. With measurements or time followed by a noun:
one month (month is a measurement of time)