Help explain this passage by Jean Jacques Rousseau?

From A Discourse in Political Economy by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1755): The first and most important rule of legitimate or popular government, that is to say, of government whose object is the good of the people, is therefore, as I have observed, to follow in everything the general will. But to follow this will it is … Read more

master’s degree vs master degree

Could you please tell me which one is correct, master’s degree or master degree? I am writing in this context ….of the college in which I will have completed Master degree Also Do you write Master with a capital letter or master with a lower case letter? Answer Master’s degree is correct: it is a … Read more

Is a comma required here?

Is a comma required in the two places in the following example? He asked me(,) “Blah blah?“ My reply was(,) “Blah blah.” Thanks! Answer I don’t require commas there. But I’m old enough and experienced enough to follow my own rules, not those of some style manual designed to keep cub writers and their overworked … Read more

What are the rules that describe the usage of ’em’ dash and ‘en’ dash?

I’m clear about using one hyphen while typing a sentence. I met a 24-year-old girl. She was pretty. But in many sentences I observe a longer dash (–). Probably they are two in number. Microsoft Word automatically does this at times. My question: In typing, is there any rule of putting more than one dash … Read more

Colon/question mark conflict in a question containing a description

Which punctuation mark to use in a sentence that contains a description (needs colon) and a question (needs question mark)? Example: How would you act in a situation like this one: you are trapped in a cage with a bear. If I absolutely want to build my sentence using this structure (using a colon before … Read more

Do I need a comma in this expression?

I want to write the expression I saw various science-fiction, thrillers and war movies last week. in this way The movies I saw last week, they were science-fiction, thrillers and war movies. or The courses I took at Y university, they were course1, course2 etc. Do I need a comma after week and university in … Read more

Do I need comma in these expressions?

Consider these expressions, The article is about Mr X, who invented Y in 1960. In this expression do I need a comma after Mr X? I took a look at this document, It discusses Restrictive vs. Nonrestrictive Relative Clauses but I don’t think my expressions are either one of those. Answer The general principle is … Read more

Which punctuation has the priority?

“Tricky customer, eh? Not to worry, we’ll find the perfect match here somewhere –– I wonder, now –– yes, why not –– unusual combination –– holly and phoenix feather, eleven inches, nice and supple.” (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) There are dashes and commas mingled, so it’s very hard how to read by meaningful … Read more

Hyphenating compound words

Is there a rule whether a compound word is hyphenated (at a line break) between its components? potash is hyphenated as pot-ash, but potassium is hyphenated as po-tas-si-um. From Merriam Webster: Origin of POTASSIUM New Latin, from potassa potash, from English potash Why is potassium not hyphenated pot-as-si-um, which would preserve the sense? Is there … Read more