Punctuation Exercise (693)

In each sentence, revise one or more punctuation marks to reflect correct usage.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: The guide sets forth rules for signage, correspondence, even the spacing on NASA dump trucks is detailed.
Correct : The guide sets forth rules for signage and correspondence; even the spacing on NASA dump trucks is detailed.

This sentence suffers from a comma splice; the independent clause beginning with "even" must be set off from the previous clause by a semicolon (or a dash, or it can be treated as a separate sentence). For clarity, a phrase such as "of graphic elements" should also be inserted before "on NASA dump trucks."

2.
Original: Helvetica is the standard font in the style guide, with Sans Serif also making the cut (sorry Comic Sans fans).
Correct : Helvetica is the standard font in the style guide, with Sans Serif also making the cut (sorry, Comic Sans fans).

The direct address to readers in the parentheses must be punctuated; otherwise, "sorry Comic Sans fans" seems to be a reference to pathetic aficionados of the lettering font Comic Sans.

3.
Original: That’s not all that organization has to offer for free though.
Correct : That’s not all that organization has to offer for free, though.

The adverb "though" should be set off from the rest of the sentence.

4.
Original: That line is nothing new, he’s been using it for years.
Correct : That line is nothing new—he’s been using it for years.

This comma splice (use of a comma between tangentially related independent clauses) is easily correcting by replacing the comma with a stronger punctuation mark. Generally, a semicolon should take its place (or the clause following the comma can become a new sentence), but in this case, because of the statement’s informal tone, a breezy dash is more appropriate.

5.
Original: Type I receptors are essential for signaling; and type II receptors are required for binding ligands and for expression of type I receptors.
Correct : Type I receptors are essential for signaling, and type II receptors are required for binding ligands and for expression of type I receptors.

Here, the conjunction "and" separates two independent clauses that could otherwise be separated by a semicolon. But including both the conjunction and the semicolon is redundant, so a simple comma should replace the stronger punctuation mark.

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