E is for Escarpment

Springtime at Rattlesnake Point
Rattlesnake Point, part of the Niagara Escarpment, near Milton, Ontario.

E is for ellipses points

Ellipses points indicate an unstated continuation of a thought or the omission of something from a quotation.

She did not want to be seen or heard . . .

“Out, out . . . spot.”

— William Shakespeare, as read to schoolgirls in 1936. 

E is for emphasis

Emphasis in written text is indicated by changing the type with, for example, capital letters or italics.

OK, so it was a Big Deal.

Why don’t you pay now, rather than later?

Using all upper case letters in an e-mail or other messaging system indicates shouting and is considered rude.


E is for exclamation point

An exclamation point ( ! ) is also used for emphasis, and especially to get someone’s attention.

That’s why!

Watch out!


  1. Why don’t you see ellipses in newspapers?
  2. Write out the sentence, “Look ahead in the road.” using different methods of emphasis.
  3. Where would you use an exclamation point?

Special reading assignment

  1. An escarpment is a long cliff created by erosion or by a fault in the rocks.
  2. The Niagara Escarpment runs from Watertown, New York, through Niagara Falls, to Georgian Bay and the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario. From there it runs into Wisconsin. It was once the shore of an inland sea.

A is for Asterisk



A is for Asterisk

The asterisk (*) is a symbol or glyph used within a text to indicate a footnote, e.g., He always spoke of his sister, Anna*.


Sometimes a row of asterisks marks a new section of text, where a sub-heading is not appropriate and a blank line might be missed.


In comics and graphic novels, the asterisk is sometimes used with other odd symbols to spell out an oath, e.g., #@&*!

The word asterisk comes from the same root as star and aster, a flower of many petals.


* Anna’s real name was Anna-Marie.