Bob had an interesting question during last Tuesday’s show: where did punctuation names come from? Here’s a rundown on some of the standard punctuation marks.
- apostrophe ( ’ )
The sign used to indicate the omission of a letter or letters. [Gr. turning away or elision]
- brackets ( [ ] )
Marks used for enclosing a word or number of words, a portion of a mathematical formula, or the like, so as to separate it from the context. [L. projecting support]
- colon ( : )
A punctuation mark that directs the reader’s attention to what follows in the same sentence. [Gr. a limb, a portion of a sentence]
- comma ( , )
A mark used to separate the smallest members of a sentence. [Gr. a small piece cut off]
- dash ( – )
A mark used to signify a pause or break in a sentence. [Scand. to slap with an open hand]
- ellipsis ( ... )
Marks indicating the omission of one or more words in a sentence. [Gr. a cut section, as a segment of a cone]
- exclamation point ( ! )
A sentence termination mark that signifies great emotion. [L. to cry out vehemently]
- hyphen ( - )
A short dash used to connect compound words or to signify that a word will be completed on the next line. [Gr. together, as one]
- parentheses ( ( ) )
Marks used to enclose interrupting, but connected, comments [Gr. to put in beside]
- period ( . )
The mark used to indicate the end of a declarative sentence. [Gr. a cycle, length of time, or rounded-off event]
- question mark ( ? )
The mark used to signify the end of a sentence which is a direct question. [L. to ask or inquire]
- quotation marks ( “ ” )
Marks used to enclose the exact words of another person. [L. to mark or reference]
- semicolon ( ; )
A mark used to join two independent clauses that are intimately connected; it could be replaced by a period. [L. semi, half, + Gr. a limb, a portion of a sentence]
SIDEBAR: If you live in the GT region and are over 50, get a team of 3 together for this year's Senior Spelling Bee. Practice rounds at TADL Wed. April 25 & Thurs. April 26 at noon. Main event Friday, May 4th, 1 p.m., at the Gilbert Lodge on Twin Lakes. Call the TC Senior Center for details at 231-922-4911.
Check out Mike's program-based books here:
Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to wtcmradio.com and clicking on Listen Now.
There is a collection of podcasts. Go to wtcmradio.com and click on Podcasts. Scroll down The Ron Jolly Show to find the Words to the Wise audio button.
Labels: punctuation names