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Punctuation

Punctuation are marks used in writing to separate sentences in order to clarify the meaning intended. Examples are periods, exclamation points, commas and many others.

TermDefinition
Abbreviation

Abbreviation means to shorten a word or phrase. Abbreviations are a form of punctuation used to represent a complete word, phrase or sentence. Two letter abbreviations for state names are among the most commonly used. (i.e. NY).

Acute Accent

The acute accent refers to the accent mark that is sometimes placed over vowels (or occasionally other letters) in words in order to indicate that those letters are to be pronounced in a full and distinct way. In English, this is perhaps most common when one is using a loan word, especially from Spanish. It can also be used within the context of lyric poetry, where the acute accent may expand the syllable count of a given word and thus change the meter of a given line. 

Alphabet

The term alphabet is almost difficult to define, given its fundamental role in all of written language. Indeed, the word "alphabet" itself is simply derived from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet: alpha and beta. Every character within a given alphabet is a symbol for a specific spoken sound; and taken as a set, the characters of an alphabet can be used to spell every conceivable word of a given language. 

Ambigram

An ambigram is a word, art form or other symbolic representation whose elements retain meaning when viewed or interpreted from a different direction, perspective, or orientation.

Apostrophe

The apostrophe ( ' or ' ) is a punctuation mark, and sometimes a diacritical mark, in languages that use the Latin alphabet or certain other alphabets. In English, it serves a few purposes, but mainly to indicate the marking of the omission of one or more letters (as in the contraction of do not to don't).

Asterisk (*)

An asterisk is a symbol (*) used to mark printed or written text, typically as a reference to an annotation or to stand for omitted matter.

At Sign (@)

The at sign, @, normally read aloud as "at", also commonly called the at symbol or commercial at, is originally an accounting and commercial invoice abbreviation meaning "at a rate of" (e.g. 7 widgets @ £2 = £14).

Brace - { }

The usage of grammar braces follows a special set of rules that are fairly easy to learn. Braces, also known as brackets -- { } -- or parentheses, can be round, square, curly, or angled.

Bracket - [ ]

A bracket -- [ ] -- is a tall punctuation mark typically used in matched pairs within text, to set apart or interject other text (similar, but not identical, to braces-- { }). Used unqualified, brackets refer to different types of brackets in different parts of the world and in different contexts.

Capital Letter

In English, capital letters are used as the first letter of a sentence, a proper noun, or a proper adjective. There are a few pairs of words of different meanings whose only difference is capitalization of the first letter.

Check Mark (✔)

A check mark, checkmark or tick (✓) is a mark used to indicate the concept "yes" (e.g. "yes; this has been verified", "yes; that is the correct answer", "yes; this has been completed", or "yes; this [item or option] applies to me"). The checkmark is one of the most common symbols used in forms.

Circumflex (ˆ)

The circumflex is a diacritic in the Latin, Greek and Cyrillic scripts that is used in the written forms of many languages and in various romanization and transcription schemes. 

Colon (:)

The colon (:) has primarily three grammatical uses and several non-grammatical uses. The punctuation mark introduces a list. The colon is used to introduce a list of items.

Comma (,)

The comma ( , ) is a punctuation mark that appears in several variants in various languages. It has the same shape as an apostrophe or single closing quotation mark in many typefaces, but it differs from them in being placed on the baseline of the text.

Dash (-)

The dash (-) is a punctuation mark that is similar to a hyphen or minus sign, but differs from both of these symbols primarily in length and function. 

Ellipsis (...)

Ellipsis is the punctuation used to mark the omission from speech or writing of a word or words that are superfluous or able to be understood from contextual clues.

Equal Sign

The equals sign or equality sign (=) is a mathematical symbol used to indicate equality. It was invented in 1557 by Robert Recorde. In an equation, the equals sign is placed between two expressions that have the same value.

Exclamation Point (!)

The exclamation point is a mark of terminal punctuation. As such, it should not be followed by a period or question mark. The exclamation mark is a punctuation mark usually used after an interjection or exclamation to indicate strong feelings or high volume (shouting) and often marks the end of a sentence.

French Quotation Mark ( « » )

French quotation marks, are French punctuation marks and represented with polylines pointed like arrows (« or »), sometimes forming a complementary set of punctuation marks used as a form of quotation mark.

Grave Accent (`)

A grave accent is a mark (`) placed over a vowel esp. to indicate that the vowel is open or lax, as French è, has distinct syllabic value, as in English belovèd, or that the vowel or the syllable it is in has secondary stress or is pronounced with a low or falling pitch.

Hyphen

Hyphen is the punctuation sign (-) used to join words to indicate that they have a combined meaning or that they are linked in the grammar of a sentence (as in pick-me-up, rock-forming), to indicate the division of a word at the end of a line, or to indicate a missing or implied element (as in short- and long-term).

Lower Case

Lower case means having as its typical form a, b, c rather than A, B, C : not capital. It is the direct opposite of upper case.

Number Sign/Hashtag

The # symbol is commonly called the pound sign, number sign and more recently the hashtag. It is called the pound sign because the symbol comes from the abbreviation for weight, lb, or “libra pondo” literally “pound by weight” in Latin.

Percentage Sign (%)

The percent sign (%) is the symbol used to indicate a percentage, a number or ratio as a fraction of 100.

Period Mark (.)

In punctuation, the full stop (Commonwealth English) or period (American English) is a punctuation mark placed at the end of a sentence. The full stop glyph is sometimes called a baseline dot because, typographically, it is a dot on the baseline.

Plus Sign (+)

The plus sign symbol (+), indicates addition or a positive value. The plus sign was devised in conjunction with the minus sign (not to be confused with a hyphen) to make writing mathematical equations easier. 

Quotation Mark

Quotation marks, also called quotes, quote marks, quotemarks, speech marks, inverted commas or talking marks, are punctuation marks used in pairs in various writing systems to set off direct speech, a quotation, or a phrase. The pair consists of an opening quotation mark and a closing quotation mark, which may or may not be the same character.

Semicolon (;)

The semicolon or semi-colon (;) is a punctuation mark that separates major sentence elements. A semicolon can be used between two closely related independent clauses, provided they are not already joined by a coordinating conjunction.

Single Quotation Mark (')

Single quotation marks (') are used inside another pair of quotation marks ("), or a written quote-within-a-quote. For example,"When I say 'immediately', I mean some time before August", said the manager. This punctuation mark may look like inverted (upside-down) commas, depending on the font type being used.

Slash/Virgule

The virgule, or a slash, is a typographic symbol. The most common American English usage is shown within the expression "and/or". Other common uses suggest an attribute or choice, such as "male/female".

Tilde

Tilde is an accent (~) placed over the Spanish n when pronounced ny (as in señor ) or the Portuguese a or o when nasalized (as in São Paulo ). It is used at times, over a vowel in phonetic transcription, indicating a nasal sound. This curvy diacritic mark is used in  various other languages, as well as for limited contexts in math, but should not be confused with other punctuation marks, such as the grave accent (‘)  or circumflex (^).

Umlaut

Umlaut is a mark ( ¨ ) used over a vowel, as in German or Hungarian, to indicate a different vowel quality, usually through fronting or rounding. This is a vowel sound that changes from the first to the second vowel in a word. The /i/, /a/, and /u/ are the most common vowels that feature umlauts. It is a mark, or diacritic, that is added to a letter in order to give insight about pronunciation.

Underscore

The underscore [ _ ] (also called understrike, underbar, or underline) is a character that originally appeared on the typewriter and was primarily used to underline words.

Upper Case

Upper Case is one of the large alphabetic characters used as the first letter in writing or printing proper names and sometimes for emphasis

Vowel

In English spelling, the five letters A E I O and U can represent a variety of vowel sounds, while the letter Y frequently represents vowels (as in e.g., "gym", "happy", or the diphthongs in "cry", "thyme"). 

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