Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

127

Actually, I feel a few of the other answers here (and even the question) are a bit simplistic: there's more to this issue than is indicated by the latest editions of the Chicago Manual of Style or Bringhurst's The Elements of Typographic Style. In lieu of a very long answer, let me point to the (long) Wikipedia articles on exactly this issue: Sentence ...


78

If etc. occurs at the end of a sentence, then you do not add another period. It's all about apples, oranges, bananas, etc. However, if etc. occurs at the end of a clause, you can add a comma or other punctuation mark after it. I bought the apples, oranges, etc., but they were all rotten. This grammar reference gives the following rule: When ...


62

Both are still acceptable, though the two-space style has been falling out of favor with the advent of variable-width fonts. From Common Errors: However, when justified variable-width type is set for printing it has always been standard to use only one space between sentences. Modern computers produce type that is more like print, and most modern styles ...


40

Robert Bringhurst has this to say about the subject in The Elements of Typographic Style: 2.1.4 Use a single word space between sentences. In the nineteenth century, which was a dark and inflationary age in typography and type design, many compositors were encouraged to stuff extra space between sentences. Generations of twentieth-century ...


38

Firstly, this is only American convention — in Britain for instance you wouldn't use it (except for a few publishing houses). Secondly, this is not logical but typographical: a convention arising out of early American printers' opinion that typesetting the punctuation inside quotes looked better. This convention is slowly eroding in some areas and being ...


26

The correct form of your example: It’s all about apples, oranges, bananas, etc. Jack Lynch’s Guide to Grammar and Style states: This one is simple enough: never double up periods. If a statement ends with “etc.” the period in the abbreviation does double duty, serving as the full stop to end the sentence. If, however, you need another mark of ...


26

Well, you have two options: Option 1: re-arrange your sentence or invent some spurious phrase to put after the decimal so that it looks less obvious; Option 2: don't worry about it and just have a cup of tea.


20

It seems that four or so observations have not yet made it into this thread, so let's add them: Much printed writing (magazines, newspapers) is done with full-width left and right aligned text. This induces a natural (or not) length space after the period which is different in size in each sentence. Here the use of double spaces after periods should be ...


20

According to the 1949 Bibliographical description and cataloguing by John Duncan Cowley: The earliest printers used roman numerals more often than arabic and usually divided a long numeral by means of stops, thus: M.ccccc.xvij. M. v. C. xxvij. M | CCCCC. | XLII. M. D. xliii They also habitually printed a stop before as ...


20

The term you are probably looking for is the small hours. Collins defines this term as "the early hours of the morning, after midnight and before dawn."


19

If you consider it to be a phrase that simply spans two lines, I'd say: Thanks, John Doe is correct. Without the comma it would imply that you're thanking John Doe. It's certainly the one I use personally, not that that's a particularly good back-up for this answer. I can't say I've ever seen anyone use it with a ".", that just looks wrong to me.


18

Actually both are correct, I could easily found both on my NOAD, and there's plenty of pages on the net where you find it written as "PhD". The OALD gives an interesting distinction, stating that Ph.D. is especially North American English. Now, being a non-native speaker, I can only rely on official sources to state who uses what, but there's no doubt ...


17

I used to be a stickler about this in my own writing and when editing others writing as well, but especially as the computer has taken the place of the typewriter in my writing (showing my age a bit) and as the brevity of twitter has influenced my other writing (in a good way, mostly) I've come to see the 2nd space as a waste of space. One nail in the ...


15

This pretty much explains who the period belongs to: This one is simple enough: never double up periods. If a statement ends with “etc.” the period in the abbreviation does double duty, serving as the full stop to end the sentence. If, however, you need another mark of punctuation after an abbreviation, you can put it after the period So, it really ...


15

Headlines are basically titles, and the reason periods aren't usually put in titles is: Full stops, like their name suggests, are something that halts the eye of your reader....Titles are all about leading your reader into your post and so anyway [sic] that you can help this flow is a bonus. I don't know about its being proper or not, but I know there ...


14

The Penguin Handbook says it more clearly than I could:1 Examine the material enclosed by parentheses. Is it an entire sentence? If so, place the period inside the closing parenthesis. If the parenthetical material is part of another sentence, place the period outside the closing parenthesis. Sometimes the parenthetical material is part of a ...


13

Based on the "Oxford Manual of Style" I changed my approach: At the end of a sentence don't add a second period. For other punctuation still include the period. E.g. "IT.?" would be right. But, when I was reading Mathematics at university I was told to always add the sentence ending period whatever went before, so if an equation ended with ellipsis there ...


13

Either rewrite the sentence or paragraph so it doesn't end with the number, or write it as you should with any normal sentence and put a period at the end: The answer is 0.8. That looks much neater to me than The answer is 0.8 .. If you're not dealing with mathematics or plain numbers, then another approach is to mention the units (which is often a ...


12

In military (US) slang that period is referred to as "oh-dark hundred" or sometimes "zero-dark hundred". On the 24-hour clock the hours before 10 am start with a 0; so 1:00 am is 0100 and said as oh-one-hundred and so forth. Thus oh-dark hundred is anytime after midnight while it is still dark: "The woke us up at oh-dark-hundred and ran us thru the obstacle ...


12

I believe this is primarily a difference between American English and British/Australian English. American English usually includes the period (e.g., St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York or St. Paul, Minnesota) whereas British and Australian English typically omits it (e.g., St Paul's Cathedral in London).


11

I don't know if LaTeX is considered a definitive source for mathematics writing style (although it was developed for typesetting math equations), but this link and this one seem to indicate that, yes, a period would be inserted after the equation in the example We used the equation x + y = z. This is the next sentence. The Wikipedia Manual of ...


10

As aluded to by one of the respondents, the reason (most likely) that a single space has become common place is due to the fact that HTML won't allow two sequential spaces without a bit of special plumbing, so the second space got lost in a lot of online writing. However now that we are used to it I think it's probably here to stay. My preference would be ...


10

I always thought that an extra space following the period at the end of a sentence and before the start of a new one, as opposed to a single space after a comma or a semicolon, etc. is there to emphasize a slightly longer pause in the rhythm of a language… And typesetting environments like TEX has always handled that elegantly, only wider-spread ...


10

The Wikipedia style guide mandates the following approach, which seems sensible to me given that they do have to maintain a large body of text from disparate authors. Use the same grammatical form for all elements in a list, and do not mix the use of sentences and sentence fragments as elements. When the elements are complete sentences, ...


10

Basically, the word doctor is a noun, and is the one to be used in any regular form of speech or writing. Dr., on the other hand, is an honorific. Like Mr., Mrs., or Prof., it isn't meant to be used as a noun at all. To answer more directly, there is no proper way to use the abbreviated form to indicate possesion, as it isn't a noun.


10

This is from Larry Trask’s 'Guide to Punctuation': The semicolon (;) has only one major use. It is used to join two complete sentences into a single written sentence when all of the following conditions are met: (1) The two sentences are felt to be too closely related to be separated by a full stop; (2) There is no connecting word which ...


10

To expand a little on Ben's answer, the British practice is not to use a full stop where the abbreviation contains the first and last letters of the word abbreviated. So, St (which can also be an abbreviation of street) but etc. That said, British style generally tends towards minimalist punctuation.


10

This question actually has two parts: (1) Should an abbreviation such as Jr for Junior include a period at all? (2) If the abbreviation does take a period and if it appears at the end of a sentence, should the sentence be punctuated to include both the Jr period and the end-of-sentence period? The answers to both questions are matters of house style, and ...


9

The best source for such questions is The Chicago Manual of Style. (By "best," I mean that it is most supportive of my existing prejudices.) 15th Edition, Section 11.8 permits these changes (and others) to quotations: The intial letter may be changed to a capital or lowercase letter The final period may be omitted or changed to a comma


9

I agree with both Alok and Barrie England in part, but suggest that the term fax was never an abbreviation requiring a period (at least in US), but a short form term. Consider doctor. The abbreviation in US is Dr. (with a period). But there is a short form, somewhat informal, of doc, or more frequently, Doc without a period. Similarly, the titles of ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible