Punctuation

In general, punctuation is such a complex topic that referring to the appropriate sections in CMS is the preferred option. However, here we present some specific guidelines.

Colons

When a colon introduces text within a sentence, the following word starts with a lowercase letter. Otherwise, the following word has an initial cap.

Ellipses

Because the correct use of an ellipsis is sometimes mysterious, the following guidelines are provided:

  • For omissions within a sentence when using Word, insert a space, the ellipsis symbol (Insert/Symbol/Symbol), and a space.
  • For omissions between sentences, use closing punctuation before an ellipsis if the preceding sentence is grammatically complete. If the preceding sentence is not grammatically complete, do not use closing punctuation. Place a space directly before and after the ellipsis.

For more complete information about using an ellipsis, see CMS 13.48–13.56.

Em dashes

In Internet Computing, place a space before and after an em dash, owing to font issues.

En dashes

Use en dashes for page ranges and other cases where the CMS calls for them; see CMS 6.78–681.

Quotation marks

Use double quotation marks for quoted text inside block quotations, decks, headings, and interviews. Don't put quotation marks around the entire quotation, deck, and so on.

Slashes (virgules)

Use your judgment regarding the use of slashes. Normally, there should be no space on either side of the slash. For an exception, see CMS 6.104.