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What to do, when the sentence ends with an abbreviation. For example:

The following results are by Deb et al.


The following results are by Deb et al..

Are two consecutive dots ok?

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closed as general reference by J.R., Roaring Fish, StoneyB, FumbleFingers, tchrist Nov 18 '12 at 14:06

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I think this falls under General Reference. – J.R. Nov 18 '12 at 12:09
I think this falls under Exact Duplicate. – StoneyB Nov 18 '12 at 13:48
@StoneyB: I'm not convinced of that. The accepted answer on the other one says it's a matter of style, but I don't think any style guide would endorse OP's suggested usage. It's true Vincent's answer does explicitly say repeating the period is incorrect - but taking the page as a whole, if you had nothing else to go on, you'd have to assume OP has a free choice here. But I do think it's General Reference, and I can't see anything needs to be added to the answer that's already here. – FumbleFingers Nov 18 '12 at 14:01
@FumbleFingers I have an ideological (and perhaps idiosyncratic) objection to designating these matters as GR, because punctuation is guided by "house rules" -- do you follow Chicago, MLA, APA, OUP? There are thus multiple conflicting authorities -- most of which are not accessible online. So I look for any excuse to avoid calling GR. – StoneyB Nov 18 '12 at 14:07
@FumbleFingers Inconceivable! – StoneyB Nov 18 '12 at 14:18
up vote 4 down vote accepted

No, sentences end with a single {period / end stop}. Look at a style manual (e.g., Chicago Manual of Style) for detailed rules on punctuation.

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And hope your tutor uses the same one. (Double punctuation is not absolutely verboten in the UK. Surely you've heard!?) – Edwin Ashworth Nov 18 '12 at 14:05
@Edwin: Really? Not absolutely verboten? No, I haven't heard, but I suspect that somebody over there dislikes me and wants to keep me out of the linguistics Möbius for reasons of state. Well, I can't say I'm not surprised, but it does rather underscore my contentious contention that there are almost no standards and no rules for the English language. Ah, Wilderness! – user21497 Nov 18 '12 at 14:32
The usual occurrences of double punctuation are with quote structures - in the UK there is an attempt to line up the usages with the way brackets are used in arithmetic and numerical algebra. Tim North at betterwritingskills.com/articles/quotation-marks.txt (sorry I can't seem to manage to convert the links here to nice referents) contrasts the usual US and UK preferences. However, since his CV lists his major activities as being in Australia, South-East Asia and the Middle East, we can ignore anything we don't like. Though it's probably safest using the phone across the Atlantic. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 18 '12 at 22:24
@Edwin: Thank you for that. I knew that British punctuation was akin to rocket science, which is why I created my own punctuation style manual for myself. But it seems to be the same system. – user21497 Nov 19 '12 at 0:43

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