Punctuation provides vital clues that aid reader comprehension. It’s governed by well documented rules. For example, every English sentence requires end punctuation (unless it’s a title or a heading). Within those rules are stylistic choices, which we’ll cover here.
The more punctuation you add, the more complex a sentence becomes. If a sentence contains more than a comma or two and ending punctuation, consider rewriting it to make it clearer and more succinct.
Refer to the following sections for specific guidance:
- Formatting punctuation in UI interactions
- Dashes and hyphens
- Parenthetical elements
Additional punctuation guidelines
- Apostrophes in possessives and contractions.
- Ellipses in syntax and for omissions.
- Exclamation points are to be used sparingly.
- Question marks are to be used sparingly.
- Quotation marks are to be used for quotations only. Use italics instead of quotation marks if you need to emphasize or refer to words or parts of sentences.
Incorrect: “Info” isn’t an acceptable abbreviation for “information” in professional communications.
Correct: Info isn’t an acceptable abbreviation for information in professional communications.
- Semicolons between independent clauses, contrasting statements, and items in a list.