Does this comma matter?

Commas always trip me up. I feel that I use them far too often, and I most likely do. Can anyone set my mind at ease in regards to the following sentence: Neutrogena is a family-oriented brand producing a large array of health and beauty products, such as acne wash, hair treatments, and sunscreen. The … Read more

Is this an acceptable way of writing the count of items in a sentence?

My father served in the logistics branch of Indian armed forces and he had a very particular style of representing the number of items of a certain object. For example, he would use this sentence: Confirming the receipt of footballs (20 nos) and volleyballs (10 nos). OR Confirming the receipt of footballs (20 numbers) and … Read more

Beginning list items with numerals

Most well-known style guides dictate that numbers should always be spelled out at the beginning of a sentence (Forty-seven percent of people…), even to the point of recommending rewriting to avoid spelling out awkwardly large numbers (In all, 5,260 people…). I have a bulleted list of percentages in which I would really like to start … Read more

Does one resign their office, or resign from office?

Stylistically, is it more appropriate to use it in the transitive, or intransitive way? Merriam-Webster has examples in both cases. In Nixon’s resignation speech, he says “Therefore, I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow” using “the Presidency” as the object of “resign” without a predicate. This feels clunky. Would it also be correct … Read more

Use of italics and BrE single quotation marks

I’d like to know when to use italics and when to use single quotation marks should be used. For example: The word he was looking for was ‘abjuration’. vs The word he was looking for was abjuration. Answer I consulted The Oxford Guide to Style (2002) to see what a style guide focused on British … Read more

At the beginning of a sentence in dialogue that sounds incomplete, should you use an apostrophe?

I’m not sure where I picked up this habit, but I think it might be grammatically incorrect. I’m a fiction writer and have just started working on a new novel, so I want to clear this up before I get too far in. Here’s an example, since the question sounds a bit confusing: The speaker … Read more

When should I use “Figure out the rest” vs “figure the rest out”? Does it matter?

I’m writing something where a character tells someone else vaguely something that that she did in the past and then tacks on “I’ll let you figure out the rest” at the end. Then some of the notes of the person proofreading my work suggested I have her say “I’ll let you figure the rest out” … Read more