Series index: English Punctuation Overview.
The dash is famous (or infamous) for its informal and flexible use; you can place one just about anywhere.
- The Dash - overview of the dash's main uses, including the difference between the en dash and the em dash.
- Armchair Punctuator - a longer overview covering several uses
- The King's English - a lengthy discussion of the use and misuse of dashes (published in 1908).
A type of bracket, the parenthesis is sometimes called a bracket or round bracket. Parentheses surround parenthetical elements just as commas(link) and dashes sometimes do.
- The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation - three simple rules for using parentheses.
- Parentheses - a complete overview with many examples.
Brackets or Square Brackets
Square brackets have more specialized uses, like inserting information into quotes and surrounding parenthetical information inside parentheses.
- Brackets - a short summary.
- Armchair Punctuator - a longer overview of brackets, including examples.
- The Bracket - another overview.
Quotation marks (or speech marks) are used mainly to indicate dialogue. The quotation mark has only a couple simple rules, but many still manage to misuse it (see The Gallery of “Misused” Quotation Marks for proof).
- Quotation Marks - a complete guide to using other punctuation with quotation marks, including single quotation marks.
- Armchair Punctuator - another complete guide, covering some additional details like block quotes and quoting poetry.
- Scare Quotes - covers the usage of quotation marks to show disapproval, disownment, irony or sarcasm. See also Air Quotes.
- Talking About Words - covers the usage of quotation marks when discussing words.
- The King's English - a lengthy discussion of the use and misuse of quotation marks (published in 1908).
- Single vs. Double Quotation Marks: Once Again British and American Usage Differ
The ellipsis (lovingly called “dot-dot-dot”) usually represents words omitted from a quote, but it can also indicate trailing off in speech.
- The Ellipsis - covers everything you need to know.
- The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation - lists six rules.