So the Australian Style manual specifies that superscript is placed within punctuation except for at the end of a sentence, where it falls outside of the full stop. All well and good, but how about in the circumstance when the (complete) sentence ends with a colon that precedes a block quote? Does the superscript fall inside or outside of the colon?

I guess the question is whether the colon, in this case, constitutes the 'end of the sentence'.

  • Welcome to EL&U. This site is oriented more to the usage of the English language, rather than its presentation; our sister site Writers.SE does accept questions about copywriting and style.
    – choster
    Jun 6, 2017 at 14:44
  • Possible duplicate of Do footnoting superscripts go inside or outside punctuation? Jun 6, 2017 at 15:16
  • Except for the question of exactly what the Australian Style Manual says, this is a duplicate. And I don't think this site should be open to questions of exactly which way of doing something a specific style manual requests when there are multiple accepted ways of doing it. My advice: make a decision. If somebody corrects you at some point, that's fine. If not, that's fine, too. Jun 6, 2017 at 15:18
  • I'm voting to close this question because style guide questions are off-topic here sorry. Jun 7, 2017 at 1:10

1 Answer 1


Superscripts always fall within punctuation, unless you can cite a specific reason why not.

Except a following sentence, which won't be a superscript, nothing relating to a sentence should fall outside - or rather, after - the full stop.

It’s almost impossible for a sentence, much less a complete sentence, to end with a colon, whatever it precedes. When a colon is appropriate, whether a superscript falls before or after it depends on the circumstance, not any absolute rule.

If the Australian Style Manual says superscripts should be placed within punctuation except at the end of a sentence that could be well and good.

When you guess the question is whether the colon constitutes the end of the sentence which colon and which sentence did you mean to quote, please?

  • Purdue Owl gives an example of a colon ending a sentence when it introduces a block quote (unless you think the entire paragraph comprising the block quote is contained in the sentence). This is the kind of thing the OP is asking about. Jul 6, 2017 at 23:53
  • Thanks, Peter, and although Purdue Owl nearly put me to sleep, that link didn't seem to help. I do think it makes no difference whether one word or 1,000 follows the colon: whatever does is is contained in the sentence. There might be a problem with whether the OP meant … at the end… or after the end of a sentence and otherwise, what d'you think isn't clear, please? Jul 8, 2017 at 23:45

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