Comma conundrums & other punctuation perplexities


Comma conundrums & other punctuation perplexities

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Latest Activity: Oct 20


Below are permanent links to some major discussions on punctuation. If you don't find a discussion that applies to your question, start your own.

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Punctuation with objections 5 Replies

Started by Jennifer L. Terreri. Last reply by Jennifer L. Terreri May 23, 2017.

Commas 11 Replies

Started by Marla Sharp. Last reply by Chris Jan 21, 2017.

Writing out shortened/abbreviated numbers 2 Replies

Started by gemini35. Last reply by gemini35 Mar 17, 2016.

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Comment by Marla Sharp on April 28, 2009 at 14:30
You are in Hawaii right now and you still can't pull yourself away from reporting? Oh, you poor thing. Put that laptop down and go outside and have fun!

The outing was a lot of fun. So many great people came. Hope to see you at the next one!!
Comment by Dorothy (Dee) Ayer on April 28, 2009 at 14:23
Hi Marla,
The reason why I mentioned referring to a document and not being comfortable with putting in parentheticals as a verbal punctuation instruction by the attorney during the quoting of material is because I actually have had situations arise where attorneys have inadvertently put the parentheticals in the wrong place, whether by inserting them as an afterthought or otherwise.
The words "period" or "comma" I would probably still leave out as it's pretty evident what they mean and where they go.
Just siding on caution, that's all.
I think we're all right on this, though
Hey, how was the outing!
Still aloha'ng (is that even a word? lol) for a week.
Comment by Marla Sharp on April 28, 2009 at 13:55
I always use the punctuation marks rather than the words. There's a fine line between verbatim and making life difficult for the reader. The attorney is reading the punctuation verbatim; therefore, we should be as true to the document as possible (even if you don't have the document). If you did have the document, I would qoute the document verbatim, using the punctuation marks used in the quote whether they're said or not. The intention is to help the reader know precisely what the document said.
So I'd do this: "And completed around the first of June (maintain the words around or similar wording)."
Comment by Dorothy (Dee) Ayer on April 28, 2009 at 13:38
Good idea, Phil. So many times I've done heavy lit where the attorneys and witnesses are reading from documents, verbally putting in punctuation. Drives me nuts! When I first began reporting and I had to take dictation for a summary report after a deposition, I would of course leave out verbal punctuation instruction. However, I think your suggestion sounds good. Quotation marks can get mucky looking, too. But I probably would put in the parenthetical (as read) only if the attorney or witness read maybe just one time, quoting a document. What do you think?
Comment by Phil Stillerman on April 28, 2009 at 13:23
To amend my prior answer, you could also precede the passage with the parenthetical [as read]: and then include the words of punctuation. In that case, I would not use quotation marks.
Comment by Jena Macato on April 28, 2009 at 13:20
Kathy, that's exactly why I asked this question, and it's bugging me so badly. I am only 8 months out of school, so that teaching is still very fresh in my mind. I'm so confused . . . .
Comment by kathy - iamwrdsmth on April 28, 2009 at 13:17
and I remember from school -so very long ago- that
I was taught when they dicate or say the
word 'comma' you
write the word 'comma.'

Comment by Dorothy (Dee) Ayer on April 28, 2009 at 11:33
Thanks, Rosalie. I put in every word, also. I think putting quotation marks around the sentence is safer, thereby breaking it up for readibility without eliminating words. Paren symbols always make me a little nervous unless perhaps I could see the actual document itself....and still, even so.
Otherwise, I think it should be verbatim.
Comment by LeAnne Law on April 28, 2009 at 5:43
I put in the () and leave out the words. You are putting in every word spoken, but you're using symbols instead of words. I think it makes it easier to read for the attorneys also.

I think the same logic applies for parens as for quotes. From Morson's re: quotes: "The reporter must decide if the context requires the actual marks or the actual words....In any event, do not use both the words and the punctuation."
Comment by Rosalie DeLeonardis on April 28, 2009 at 5:22
I punctuate the same as Dorothy. I understand what Brenda is saying and it makes sense re dictating, but as a reporter I put in every word spoken.

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