Sunday, April 19, 2009

Commonly misused/misspelled words and phrases (Part 82)

Ready for some more more? Here are some rules involving names:

Commas around names
Wrong: Where do you want to go James?
Right: Where do you want to go, James?
Wrong: So Mary what do you propose?
Right: So, Mary, what do you propose?

In dialog, when one character speaks to another and refers to him or her by name, always set off the name with a comma before the name, and—if another clause follows—one after the name.

Capitalizing proper names
Wrong: de Broux is a wonderful fellow.
Right: De Broux is a wonderful fellow.
Right: Patrick de Broux is a wonderful fellow.

Many surnames begin with de, di, da, von, van and other lower-case prefixes. Although the correct spelling of Wernher von Braun is with a lower-case v, when beginning a sentence with the surname, always capitalize the prefix (as in “Von Braun became director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in 1960.”).

More soon!



April said...

Thank you for posting this!! This is one of my biggest pet peeves.

I just love your blog. Keep up the good work. :D

Mark Terence Chapman said...

Thanks, April. I'm glad you enjoy the blog. Let me know if you think of any words and phrases I haven't covered yet.