Denise M Taylor

Writing Consultant I Editor I Proofreader I Teacher

Are you gagging for another English­­­­ grammar quiz? If so, sharpen your red pencil and put on your proofreading thinking-cap! There is more than one error relating to grammar and punctuation in each of the following ten sentences. Can you spot them?  Each grammar ‘issue’ has been covered in the last few articles written for ‘The Art of Writing & […]

In the English language, the apostrophe has a lot to do with possession and omission. Its (not It’s!) misuse in punctuation is a hot topic . . . for editors and proofreaders, and anyone else who cares. The trend today is to say or write something in the briefest way possible—social media has made sure of that. So using the […]

To hyphenate or not to hyphenate? That is the question . . . The truth is, when trying to decide whether a hyphen needs to join two words, quite often grammar rules are not black and white, and in many instances you can decide for yourself. In general, British dictionaries and publishers are more inclined to hyphenate words than their […]

Are you in the mood for a quiz? If so, sharpen your red pencil! There are errors, or improvements to be made, relating to grammar, punctuation and sentence structure in the following ten sentences. Can you spot them?  Each ‘issue’ has been covered in the first ten articles written for ‘The Art of Writing & Editing’ series. Answers are provided […]

The ellipsis (. . .) and the em dash (—) are two of my favourite members of the punctuation family. If I have to choose one that I value more than the other, then it would have to be the ellipsis. Why? Because those three dots allow me to leave out superfluous text from a quotation; but, they are even […]

Writers control the pace and mood of their writing with punctuation; it’s an art. Commas, colons and semi-colons break a sentence into units of breath, offering the reader small chances to pause. But there is more to consider. Minimalist writer, Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), used commas and semi-colons sparingly to create tension and maintain engagement with the narrative. Consider the final […]