An open-source tool for importing content into the Magento e commerce platform called Magmi has a zero day vulnerability according to security vendor Trustwave




Punctuation in English is used to create sense, clarity and stress in sentences. We use punctuation marks to structure and organize our writing. A punctuation mark is a mark, or sign, used in writing to divide texts into phrases and sentences and make the meaning clear [1].


Given below is a brief overview of the most significant and commonly misused punctuation marks: comma, colon, semi-colon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe, quotation marks [2, 3, 4, 5].


Punctuation mark Symbol Use Example
Comma , To separate two or more adjectives that are similar in nature which are placed directly before the noun they modify. He is a charming, attentive listener. She spent money on expensive, wasteful, unimaginative clothes.
BUT: If the adjectives describe different aspects of the noun, no comma is used. Peter bought a fast new red corvette last week. Jane is looking for a used round metallic object.
After a direct address of a person or group: Mary, listen to me
When listing items. BUT: American English also places the comma before the final and. Please buy eggs, milk, butter and flour.
Between the name of a city and the name of a state; between the date and the year I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. on January 3, 2014.
In direct quotations The boy said, My father is often away during the week on business trips.
To separate phrases (clauses), especially after a beginning dependent clause or a long prepositional phrase In order to qualify for your certificate, you will need to take the TOEFL exam. Although he wanted to come, he wasnt able to attend the course
To separate appositives (a noun, or noun phrase). Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, comes from Seattle.
with non-defining relative clauses My house in London, which was built in 1784, is close to all the great attractions.
To separate each group of three numbers for larger numbers. 345,687,341
Semicolon ; Between two independent clauses of a compound sentence that are too closely linked to be made into separate sentences The film was a critical success; its lead actors were particularly praised.  
To separate two related but independent clauses I asked Anne to look at my computer; she has a knack for them.
To separate a series of items that already contain commas I have lived in Detroit, Michigan; Paris, France; and Sydney, Australia.
Colon : To precede a list, an explanation or an example He had many reasons for joining the club: to get in shape, to make new friends, to lose some weight, and to get out of the house.
After salutations or greetings Dear Sir or Madam: To whom it may concern:
Hyphen - To connect words or syllables, or to divide words into parts. the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact; a shell-like cover
If the name for a material is used with the name of a thing made of that material stainless-steel knife
To spell out some numbers There were ninety-nine red balloons.
To add prefixes anti-pollution, non-proliferation
Dash   -- to indicate a break in the thought or structure of a sentence or to set off parenthetical statements Since the dash serves the same function as a comma marking off specific text from the rest of the sentence no additional commas are used with dashes.
Apostrophe To indicate omission in a contraction Its a very useful thing
With possessives of singular and plural nouns The boys books  
Quotation marks To set off a direct (word-for-word) quotation. When will you be here? he asked.
With technical terms, terms used in an unusual way, or other expressions that vary from standard usage   Its an oil-extraction method known as fracking. He did some experimenting in his college days. I had a visit from my friend the tax man.
Single quotation marks With quotations within quotations He said, Dan cried, Do not treat me that way.
Parenthesis ( ) To clarify, add an afterthought or a personal comment Sic ("thus" in Latin) is shorthand for, "This is exactly what the original material says."


1. Punctuation Marks in English. [Online]. Available: http://www.really-learn-english.com/punctuation-marks.html [Accessed: Jan. 13, 2015]

2. K. Beare, Guide to Punctuation. An overview and guide to punctuation marks in English. [Online]. Available: http://esl.about.com/od/englishgrammar/a/a_punctuation.htm [Accessed: Jan. 12, 2015]

3. Proper Punctuation Cheat Sheet. [Online]. Available: http://www.wikihow.com/Sample/Proper-Punctuation [Accessed: Jan. 10, 2015].

4. Punctuation. [Online]. Available: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/punctuation [Accessed: Jan. 6, 2015]

5. Punctuation marks. [Online]. Available: http://www.englishlanguageterminology.org/punctuation/ [Accessed: Jan. 11, 2015]

6. Punctuation exercises. Available: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/exercises/3/ [Accessed: Jan. 11, 2015]



- Dont use an apostrophe with the possessive pronouns its (its is a contracted for of it is).

- Do not use a comma between a principal and a subordinate clause. A comma is used in a complex sentence only if the subordinate clause precedes the principal one.

- Don't use a space on either side of a hyphen.

- With several nouns the apostrophe is added only to the last one: Emma and Nicole's school project.

- Periods and commas always go inside the quotation marks:
Evans said, In the not-too-distant future, we will be able to print human organs."

- Don't confuse the dash () with the hyphen (-). The dash is noticeably longer than a hyphen. Dashes are also used to offset lists placed in the middle of an independent clause, where commas are already used, for example: Many of us in the developed world already have three or more full-time devices - smartphones, tablets, television devices and the like - connected to the Internet.

Note: If there is only one appositive (which renames a noun), then you should set that off with commas, not dashes, for example: Hosted desktops, or cloud-based virtual machines, provide all the benefits of a physical PC.

- In English, unlike in Russian, the link verb to be cannot be omitted (it is wrong to write: PageRank -a number that evaluates the voting ability of all incoming links to apage).

- You do not put a space before a colon, but you do need a space after one.

- A period is used after the in-text reference, not before: In arguing for frame semantics, Croft and Cruse (2004) asserted, Semantic frames/domains represent one of the two major organizing principles for conceptual structure (p. 32).

- When using a word processor, such as Microsoft Word, represent a dash with two hyphens.

- No quotation marks are used in long quotes (quotes of more than 4 lines).



Activity 1. Look up the information above and explain the use of the punctuation marks in the underlined parts of the sentences:

1. In order to qualify for your certificate, you will need to take the TOEFL exam.
2. Of the 14 SADC countries, only three - Angola, South Africa and Mauritius - have access to one international fibre (SAT3/SAFE).

3. All these countries now have fibre links to neighbours: Malawi, through Mozambique; Zambia, through Namibia, and Zimbabwe, through Botswana.

4.According to Sothern and Gordon (2003), Environmental factors may contribute as much as 80% to the causes of childhood obesity (p. 104).

5. As a direct result of current economic necessities and ongoing technological developments, the IT industry is undergoing a number of fundamental shifts.

6. This software is stored in the Internet (in the cloud) so users dont have to install it to their computers.

Activity 2. Fill in the blanks in the quotations with its or its:

1. You tend to develop a faster, speedier mind today, but I don't think ___necessarily broader or smarter. Robert Redford

2. Information technology has been one of the leading drivers of globalization, and it may also become one of ___ major victims. Evgeny Morozov

3. ___ impossible to work in information technology without also engaging in social engineering. Jaron Lanier

4. ___become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.

Albert Einstein.

5. The greatest achievement of humanity is not ___ works of art, science, or technology, but the recognition of ___ own dysfunction. Eckhart Tolle

6. As a technology, the book is like a hammer. That is to say, ___ perfect: a tool ideally suited to ___ task. James Gleick

7. After growing wildly for years, the field of computing appears to be reaching ___ infancy. John Pierce

8. ___ not computer literacy that we should be working on, but sort of human-literacy. Nicholas P. Negroponte

9. Unix is simple. It just takes a genius to understand ___simplicity. Dennis Ritchie

Activity 3. Correct the punctuation mistakes, if any:

1. With increased competition, a local company may have to reduce its work force.

2. Teleworking, sometimes called telecommuting, means working from home using modern technology to keep in touch with your business.

3. Assets - total resources of a person or business, as cash, notes and accounts receivable, securities, inventories, goodwill, fixtures, machinery, or real estate.

4. The customers, who prefer to shop on the high street, may not be comfortable buying online.

5. Several countries participated in the project; Italy, Belgium, France, and Luxembourg.

6. Oil which is lighter than water rises to the surface.

7. They supposed, that the proposal was worth considering.

8. The synergistic reactor contains a chamber in which the exhaust from the burning coal mixes with limestone, as discussed in Appendix A.


Activity 4. Punctuate the sentences:

1. Punctuation is important my teacher said without punctuation marks your writing would be very confusing.

2. Cyberslacking is spending work time on non work related activities.

An open-source tool for importing content into the Magento e commerce platform called Magmi has a zero day vulnerability according to security vendor Trustwave.

4. I received an incomplete on my homework because I forgot to write my name on it.

5. The school specializes in three fields of study economics the study of the economy philosophy the study of thought and anthropology the study of mankind.

6. Despite improvements in quickly detecting and taking such sites offline its still a huge problem.

7. Netcraft said fraudsters are obtaining digital certificates from several major CAs including Symantec GoDaddy Comodo and CloudFlare for their bogus sites making them appear more legitimate.


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