Here’s our take on the hottest grammar debates like exclamation points, serial commas, and dashes.

Exclamation points

Just no. What? Exclamation points are great! They’re powerful! They make things stand out! But not when they’re all over the place! There are, however, moments when exclamation points can’t—and shouldn’t—be avoided. We use these marks sparingly to make sure special moments feel that way.

DO You can even invite your members to chip in and help.
DON’T You can even invite your members to chip in and help!

DO Congrats! Your members want to give you money to help support this Meetup.
DON’T Congrats! Your members want to give you money to help support this Meetup!

Serial commas

We use it. The Oxford or serial comma can often help make things clearer for readers, and we want to make things as clear as possible.

DO This Meetup welcomes members to socialize, learn, and support each other.
DON’T This Meetup welcomes members to socialize, learn and support each other.


The colon is a quick and easy trick to help cut to the chase. Colons always have one space after them when used in the context of a sentence and no space when used with numbers, such as times or ratios. If the post-colon phrase is a complete sentence, the first letter following the colon should be capitalized. If it’s not, lowercase.

DO Update: Your Meetup location changed
DON’T Update: your Meetup location changed

DO There’s one person that can answer that question: your organizer.
DON’T There’s one person that can answer that questions: Your organizer.


We only use hyphens for compound modifiers and phone numbers. We use em dashes with no spaces on each side for punctuating prose—like this. As for en dashes, we use them as a replacement for the word to, for example: 9am–6pm or Monday–Friday.

DO It’s like Facebook groups—only better
DON’T It’s like Facebook groups – only better

DO This Brooklyn-based Meetup goes from 12–3 PM.
DON’T This Brooklyn—based Meetup goes from 12—3 PM.


We spell out “and” unless it’s a special case for headlines or tweets.

DO Confirm and send
DON’T Confirm & Send


We spell out numbers below 10 in body copy but numerals are fine in headers, subheads, and short descriptions.

DO 8 going
DON’T Eight going

DO It’s exciting that eight people are going this week.
DON’T It’s exciting that 8 people are going this week.

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Last updated Jan 01 2018, 6:00 PM