LawProse Lesson #281: A short punctuation quiz.

LawProse Lesson #281: A short punctuation quiz.

As a follow-up to our English-usage quiz from last week, here are 10 questions of common punctuation that can trip up even the most careful writers. Try your hand first and then check the answers at the end.
  1. Baker alleges that in multiple board meetings, Weirzman referred to her [(a) as, “that useless cow.”; (b) as “that useless cow.”]
  2. [(a) But despite; (b) But, despite] Holman’s objections, Enerdyne went ahead with the drilling as planned.
  3. Eyewitnesses testified that Williams fled the scene in a [(a) brown, 2002; (b) brown 2002] Ford F-150.
  4. Hernandez claims that Dr. Hurani told her [(a) to: “do whatever it takes to get the patient’s consent.”; (b) to “do whatever it takes to get the patient’s consent.”]
  5. Four of the [(a) defendants (Rose, Jones, Tate, and Rivers), who; (b) defendants, (Rose, Jones, Tate, and Rivers) who] took the plea deal, received only the minimum sentence.
  6. Trammell claims that she and Alvarez were at a movie [(a) from 6:10 p.m.–8:50 p.m.; (b) from 6:10 p.m. to 8:50 p.m.]
  7. Plaintiff Webkit Inc. is a [(a) publicly traded; (b) publicly-traded] company.
  8. Defendants file this motion solely in an attempt to [(a) run down; (b) run-down] the clock.
  9. The core issue in this case is not the defendant’s behavior, but rather the constitutionality of the department’s [(a) stop-and-frisk; (b) “stop and frisk”] procedures.
  10. This leaves us to wonder what it would take to settle this [(a) lawsuit.; (b) lawsuit?]
Answers: 1. (b). 2. (a). 3. (b). 4. (b). 5. (a). 6. (b). 7. (a). 8. (a). 9. (a). 10. (a). Did you hesitate before answering? You’ll find a detailed discussion on each of these points and more in The Chicago Guide to Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation (2016). If you enjoyed this quiz, check out the new Garner’s Modern English Usage mobile app, available on the App Store and Google Play. The app contains the full text of the 2016 4th edition, with over 8,000 entries and essays—plus 30 usage quizzes like this one, with immediate feedback and links to relevant entries for further guidance on each question. Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

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