Period and Parentheses–Which Goes Where?

My favorite investment newsletter writer still needs a proofreader.  In his January 7 message, I spotted two punctuation errors and a spelling error–a spelling error that might be considered politically incorrect (spelling the President's name wrong).  Here is the first Glitch, in a sentence about Mitt Romney's chances to become the Republican nominee for President:

Mitt Romney would likely be the strongest candidate, but he carries the "baggage" of being a Mormon.  (I am not trying to degrade his religious beliefs, I am just pointing out that some people are planning to use Mitt Romney's religion against him in the coming campaign).

Whoops!  The entire last sentence here is within the parentheses.  Therefore, the period should be INSIDE the parentheses.

 

A HYPHEN IS HALF AS LONG AS A DASH, AND NO WHITE SPACE ALLOWED WITH EITHER ONE

Many of us, including this newsletter writer, forget that there is a difference in size and purpose between a hyphen and a dash.  A hyphen should only be used to link parts of some compound words, like long-term or t-shirt.  Please note that a hyphen is HALF AS LONG AS A DASH.  The dash is used to set apart one phrase or clause in a sentence that should stand out.  In the following sentence, the newsletter writer correctly chooses the dash to set off the final part of his sentence, but unfortunately, he puts the shorter hyphen where the dash should be:

Many of the bears like to treat the budget deficit and other long-term factors as risks that are about to come crashing down on America – taking the economy and the stock market into an abyss from which they will never escape.

The newsletter writer also adds "illegal" white space on each side of the tiny hyphen.  Here is the rule:  A DASH is twice as long as a hyphen, and there should be NO white space on either side of it.  The sentence should look this way:

Many of the bears like to treat the budget deficit and other long-term factors as risks that are about to come crashing down on America–taking the economy and the stock market into an abyss from which they will never escape.

 

PRESIDENT'S NAME SHOULD BE SPELLED CORRECTLY

The final goof in this otherwise well written and informative newsletter is a rather glaring spelling error.  In two places in the first two paragraphs, the first name of the President of the United States is spelled BARRACK (as in "barracks," military accommodations) when it should be BARACK

 

 

WhWh 


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