Punctuation by Dr. Mickey Suarez

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PUNCTUATION – Red, White & Blue helps people around the globe, who write in *English, to master an individual “writing style.”

Style is a matter of choice. Style emanates from the writer’s education, character, and personality.

Writing is a classic way of communicating lucid thoughts to those who are willing to read them or those who must read them (teachers, judges, addressees, etc.).

PUNCTUATION – Red, White & Blue guides you through the maze of rules, conventions, and protocols of the “old marks.”

You have a choice. This book will help you to form/create your own writing style. Yes, indeed, you can do that.


Miguel “Dr. Mickey” Suarez fully prepared to write this book. Many hours were spent in careful research and smart writing.

Many books were considered: The Chicago Manuel of Style, The Elements of Style, The Redbook: A Manuel of Legal Style, Keys for Writing, English Skills, Handbook of Good English, and others. These books are used to study the “old marks,” and, in the text, they are given proper attribution.

Two other books are used to study the “old marks”: Black’s Law and O.J. / The Last Word. They are also used to demonstrate different styles. Yes, you do have a choice of style.


PUNCTUATION – Red, White & Blue deals exclusively with the “old marks.” The book has 38 chapters.

The “soft cover” version has 242 pages. It can be purchased from www.authorhouse.com (Print On Demand) for just US$19.95.

My book instructs you on how to use each one of the “old marks.” You are given choices. You are given short examples.

The “old marks” are the traffic signals of writing. Indeed, without them you can “love your family cooking the cat and baseball.”

The small, problematic comma (,) is fully explained. The elegant, tall apostrophe (’) is properly placed. The perturbing hyphen (-) is chopped. The semicolon (;) is attacked. And much more is provided for your benefit.

Example #1: “Never use *parentheses to emphasize a word or a short phrase. It is virtually powerless.” (See Parentheses in Chapter 2 // DR. MICKEY’S FAVORITES.)

Example #2: “The semicolon is a super pause mark, but not a “full stop” (in the USA a “stop sign”) … I prefer to call the *; a “Crown Comma.” (See Dr. Mickey’s Comments in Chapter 6 // SEMICOLON.)

Example #3: “Ellipsis dots (of identical size) are used to signal that there are omissions, such as missing words, phrases, sentences, or paragraphs from a quoted material.” (See Dr. Mickey’s Comments in Chapter 11 // ELLIPSES.)

Example #4: In Example #3, above, the “Serial Comma” is used. (See A Serial Comma in Chapter 5 // COMMA.)


These two legal writers (Roy Black, Esq. and Gerry Spence, Esq.) have different styles. They use different protocols. (Do you know why a *(,) separates the lawyers’ name from “Esq.”?)

Black’s interesting book does not use a comma (,) in writing the name of a corporation: “Simon & Schuster [] Inc.” (I like this.)

Black does not use the “Serial Comma,” but Spence does. (I use it.)

Black uses “quotation marks” – (parentheses) – italics to emphasize words. Spence uses them.(I like italics. I use italics and “quotation marks” on the same page.)

Black uses “So[]” without a comma (,). Spence agrees. (I disagree. “So,” is the correct usage because the *(,) indicates a–pause.)

Both Black and Spence agree that *but []in the middle of a sentence[] should be preceded by a comma (,). (I agree.) (Would you use a *(,) before in and after sentence?) (Is underlining proper in the computer age?)

Spence likes to use the “Square Brackets”: “he [Darden]” – “him [Fuhrman].” (I also use *[ ] to clarify a name in a sentence: “Fred D [Dennin].”)


“The beautiful apostrophe (’) stands tall.” (See Chapter 16 // APOSTROPHE.)

Is it *Charles’ book or *Charles’s book?

The Element of Style (1972) has “Rule 1”: *Charles’s. “Form the possessive singular of nouns by adding’s.”

English Skills at pp. 467 and 472: “But the apostrophe plus –s (if the word is not a plural ending in –s) is often the quickest and easiest way to show possession … James’s grades … Plurals that end in –s … My parents’ station wagon is ten years old.”

Avoid an *(’) to form plurals: Use *CDs (not CD’s) (See Chapter 16 // APOSTROPHE.)

I hope it helps you find a “writing style.”

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