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1. Change in the Construction or the Sentiment

The dash is used to indicate an unexpected break in the thought or grammatical construction, or to show hesitation on the part of the speaker. If this broken part of the sentence is followed by the taking up of the thought preceding the interruption, then a dash is used to indicate its completion as well as its beginning; as, 1. The owner of the lot became tired of it-wanted to use his money on the Board

of Trade—it was his own proposition that he sell it at this low price.
2. Stenographers are not the only persons who are not quite so careful—no, perhaps

it would be better to say thoughtful-as they should be.
3. Now, taking up his criticism-but why should we pay any attention to it?
4. He had no malice in his heart—no ruffles on his shirt.

2. Parenthetical and Explanatory Expressions

The dash is often used to separate parenthetical expressions from the rest of the sentence where the expression is too much detached to require commas, and yet too closely related to be inclosed in parentheses. The dash is also used before and after words or expressions added by way of explanation, or for the sake of emphasis; as,

1. We can furnish you any quantity you wish-say 200 sets—at the price you name.
2. We hand you application covering your boiler insurance-$30,000, premium $200—

for a period of three years.
3. We shall make you a price on these goods in a few weeks—the first of April at

the latest. 4. The only work that we have published is that issued for our correspondence with

our clients-pamphlets relative to our securities. 5. It is a story of New England life that he (Whittier] tells in "Snow-Bound"—the

story, in fact, of his boyhood days. 6. To do things so profoundly well, never grows easy-grows always more difficult. 7. Those that hated him most heartily—and no man was hated more heartily

admitted that he was an intelligent man.

3. After a Series of Clauses.

The dash is used after a series of expressions that are separated by semicolons and have a common dependence upon a final clause; as, 1. If we think of glory in the field; of wisdom in the cabinet; of the purest patriot

ism; of morals without a stain-the august figure of Washington presents itself as the personification of all these ideas.

4. Subheads and Extracts

The dash is used after subheads and extracts from the works of other authors; as,

1. TERMS.-Freight net; balance two per cent cash ten days; sixty days net.

2. A good many good things are lost by not asking for them.—McKinley. 5. Omission of Figures and Letters

The dash is used to indicate the omission of figures or letters; as, 1. Study pages 175–80. 2. The years 1896—99. 3. Meeting of the Eastern Commercial Teachers' Association, April 9–11, 1909.

(This means April 9, 10, and 11.) 4. We can make you a price of 91/2–1–30. (91/2, one per cent off, thirty days.) 5. Mrs. B- on A— street.

Note.-Writers that do not clearly know what point is needed always make the dash serve as its acceptable equivalent. It has been so much overworked that one author has called for its abolition.-De Vinne.


1. Parenthetical Expressions

Parenthetical expressions that have no direct bearing upon the meaning of the sentence should be inclosed in parentheses; as, 1. We are pleased to quote you on three Roller King Mills (see page eight, catalog

sent you). 2. I wish to call your attention to Mr. Gray's letter (copy of letter inclosed), in

which he says that he cannot accept our proposition. 3. He is likely (apt) to take offense. 4. An amateur (literally, a lover) is one who pursues an art, science, or a game for

the love of it, not for a livelihood. 5. Christopher Marlowe (1564—1593) may be considered as the founder of this

poetic and romantic drama.

2. Figures

When an amount expressed in words is followed by an expression of the same amount in figures, the figures should be inclosed in parentheses; as,

1. One hundred dollars ($100).
2. We have entered your order for twenty-five hundred (2500) kegs of nails.

Observation.- Wherever possible the comma or the dash is preferable to the parenthesis in business correspondence.

Note.—Many people can ride on horseback who find it hard to get on and off without assistance. One has to dismount from an idea, and get into the saddle again, at every parenthesis.-Holmes.


Editor's Notes

The brackets inclose an explanation made by some other than the speaker or author; as, 1. Pupils in public and private schools, 17,298,230 [it seems to the editor that this

figure must be too high), an increase of 278,520 over the previous year. 2. I went into the army before I should have gone_before I knew I was in.

(Laughter.] 3. While woman may never be elected to Congress she will continue to be the

"Speaker of the House." [Applause.) 4. In matters of science he (Jefferson] was rather a dabbler than a philosopher.

Note. As the brackets are not on the keyboard of the ordinary typewriter, the stenographer must use the parentheses instead. This liberty is allowable only in typewritten work.




Insert all necessary punctuation marks in the following sentences:

(Deduct two per cent for each error.)

1. This property is situated in lot four 4, block two 2, in Harper's Addition. 2. We insist on our order No. 369 your shop No. 1744 being shipped at once. 3. For Sale a lot 50x145, clear, on Sheridan drive Lake Shore drive, east front, 150 feet

north of Barry avenue. 4. While it is for your own interest that we mention these things and we could not be

misunderstood under any circumstances still you realize that our success and your

work are interdependent. 5. There were mingled feelings of joy and sorrow at leaving the old home place at

Haverhill joy because he did not like to farm and sorrow because in it his own

quiet childhood had been passed. 6. He became known far and wide as an abolitionist a man strongly opposed to slavery. 7. Apologies a very desperate habit one that is rarely cured.Holmes. 8. The most tangible of all visible mysteries fire.-Hunt. 9. There is nothing so powerful as truth and often nothing so strange.—Webster. 10. I notice the leader of the majority, the gentleman from New York, has endeavored

to start a laugh, but it has been smothered in its very incipiency. Laughter and

applause. 11. The office boy gets a schooling that is perhaps more valuable than any other in a

business career a schooling in alertness and attention to small details. 12. Papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes, and prism, all very good words for the lips especially

prunes and prism.Dickens. 13. The maker of an accommodation bill or note one for which he has received no con

sideration, having lent his name or credit for the accommodation of the holder is not bound to the person accommodated, but is bound to all other parties pre

cisely as if there was a good consideration. 14. I would have nobody control me; I would be absolute and who but I Now, he that

is absolute can do what he likes he that can do what he likes can take his pleasure he that can take his pleasure can be content and he that can be content has no more to desire. So the matter's over and come what will come, I am satisfied.

Cervantes. 15. If the history of England be ever written by one who has the knowledge and the

courage and both qualities are equally requisite for the undertaking the world

will be more astonished than when reading Roman annals by Niebuhr.-Disraeli. 16. A blessed companion is a book a book that fitly chosen is a lifelong friend.-'errold.

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