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Hello,

I would be most appreciative if someone can help me with the following questions regarding punctuation, capitalization, and correct word choice.

First, is it appropriate only to use a colon when one is listing words in a sentence. For example, "please bring the following items: socks, shoes, and a tie." Under what other circumstances can one use a colon?

Second, is it proper to capitalize a directional word, such as east, west, etc., when you are using it to describe where you are from? For example, "I am a Westerner" or "I am from the West." Furthermore, in regard to dialogue speech in a sentence, do I need to capitalize the first word of the sentence if it doesn't begin with the word 'I'. For example, I told her, "leave/Leave my home immediately!"

Third, is the punctuation correct in the following sentence: "What that means is, beauty is in the eye of the beholder." For some reason I feel the first part is a subordinate clause because it's lacking a subject and verb. As such, it requires a comma. What about, "He told me to say, "hello" or "He told me to say hello to you." Which one is correct?

Finally, my final question involves using plural nouns in a sentence. For example, "We are at each others throat" or "We are at each others throats."

MANY thanks in advance for your assitance with the aforementioned questions.
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First, is it appropriate only to use a colon when one is listing words in a sentence. For example, "please bring the following items: socks, shoes, and a tie." Under what other circumstances can one use a colon?-- The colon is fine here. Use the colon when the information on its right side adds detail or explanation to the statement on its left side.

Second, is it proper to capitalize a directional word, such as east, west, etc., when you are using it to describe where you are from? For example, "I am a Westerner" or "I am from the West." -- If you are speaking of someone from North America / Europe, then I would capitalize it.

Furthermore, in regard to dialogue speech in a sentence, do I need to capitalize the first word of the sentence if it doesn't begin with the word 'I'. For example, I told her, "Leave my home immediately!"-- Yes, if it is the beginning of the quoted sentence, then capitalize it.

Third, is the punctuation correct in the following sentence: "What that means is, beauty is in the eye of the beholder." For some reason I feel the first part is a subordinate clause because it's lacking a subject and verb.-- No, it has a subject ('What') and a verb ('is'), and it is the main clause of the sentence. The comma is awkward, and I would recast with 'that': 'What that means is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.'

As such, it requires a comma. What about, "He told me to say, "hello" or "He told me to say hello to you." Which one is correct?-- 'Say hello' is a set phrase, so the second is much cleaner and clearer.

Finally, my final question involves using plural nouns in a sentence. For example, "We are at each others throat" or "We are at each others throats."-- 'each other's throat'.
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This happened years ago, but for the record, that last tip in the above reply is totally wrong. "Throat" should be pluralized, as you don't (I assume) share one.
BUT - you're talking about EACH OTHER'S throat - you each only have ONE. Please explain further, because this makes no sense.