Punctuation Quiz #26: Punctuation Errors

By Mark Nichol

The following sentences contain errors of punctuation. Revise them as necessary.

1. That’s my dream car in the window I plan to buy it as soon as I have enough money.

2. The boss is really old. He still addresses women clients as Mrs So-and-So.

3. I never expected to see so many glacier’s and pit’s on our trip.

4. Before we get to Phoenix let’s stop at an IHOP for breakfast.

5. All the “hardback books” on the stall are the same price.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: That’s my dream car in the window I plan to buy it as soon as I have enough money.
Correct : That’s my dream car in the window. I plan to buy it as soon as I have enough money.

Error: run-on sentence. The new thought begins with “I.” Another way to correct it would be to put a semi-colon instead of a period between “window” and “I.”

2.
Original: The boss is really old. He still addresses women clients as Mrs So-and-So.
Correct : The boss is really old. He still addresses women clients as Mrs. So-and-So.

U.S. punctuation convention places a period after “Mrs.” and “Ms.”

3.
Original: I never expected to see so many glacier’s and pit’s on our trip.
Correct : I never expected to see so many glaciers and pits on our trip.

No apostrophes are needed; glaciers and pits are simply plural nouns.

4.
Original: Before we get to Phoenix let’s stop at an IHOP for breakfast.
Correct : Before we get to Phoenix, let’s stop at an IHOP for breakfast.

A subordinate clause that begins a sentence is set off with a comma.

5.
Original: All the “hardback books” on the stall are the same price.
Correct : All the hardback books on the stall are the same price.

Using quotations marks for emphasis is an error.


2 Responses to “Punctuation Quiz #26: Punctuation Errors”

  • D.A.W.

    Decades ago, the U.S. Air Force had a maintenance plan for its aircraft that was called “IRAN”, which meant “Inspect and Repair As Necessary”.
    This plan was superseded by plans that were supposed to be focused on what was most necessary, supposedly at a saving in money and in safety.

  • D.A.W.

    Note: “Using quotations marks for emphasis is an error.”
    However, the use of quotation marks as a substitute for italic type is NOT an error:
    Ricardo Montalban described a Chrysler Cordoba as a car furnished with “Corinthian” leather, rather than “Cordovan” leather or “Andalusian” leather. This was rather strange.
    It was enough to arouse the wrath of Khan!

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