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Hullo all, I've been given a doozy of a job that is thick with sentences like this:

Student will demonstrate emphasizing with the feelings of another by remembering a similar past experience and sharing it for comfort (e.g., “Last year I was unfairly accused of cheating by a teacher so I know how you must feel now”)

and:

Student will make a reliable decision in play (e.g., when given choices of what to do next with the doll, student can choose the next step. “Does she want to go swimming or eat broccoli?”)

and also:

Student will express more complex emotions using visual supports, communication and affect (e.g., sick, tired, anxiety, confusion, etc)

Where does one put a period in these?

Thank you for your time!

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    What are you forgetting to end your sentences with periods for? Otherwise it would be just like if you – tchrist Feb 5 at 0:30
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    Did you mean "empathizing"? – Hot Licks Feb 5 at 0:40
  • @Hot Licks - Thanks for that catch. There's a lot of that in this job, but that's a whole other ball of wax. – Anie Knipping Feb 5 at 0:46
  • And empathizing means understand and share the feelings of another (OL&G), so you could shorten that sentence, JS. – KannE Feb 5 at 0:46
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    If you meant "empathizing" you should edit your question to reflect that. – Hot Licks Feb 5 at 1:26
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For clarity, I will use FULL_STOP instead of '.'. Also, I will not correct other grammatical mistakes, such as missing articles (e.g. it should be the student can choose the next step). I will try to limit myself to correcting the punctuation (except that I have used empathizing, which is a perfectly fine word; in contrast, emphasizing with the feelings of another, as you have it now, is not acceptable.)

I will show one way to place the periods so that you have complete sentences, which is at least consistent with The Chicago Manual of Style. Of course, you should actually use whatever style manual suits the needs of your client.

I know you said you don't want to make 'major' changes to the text. Nevertheless, unless these are supposed to be mere sketches or bullet-pouints in a presentation (in which case, do you really want or need the periods?), I urge you to do a bit of rewriting on these sentences. If they are supposed to be part of a self-contained, in-principle-publishable academic text, they need to be rewritten!

In the end, the periods just go to the end. Only in the second sentence is another intervention needed, namely, replacing a period in the middle by a colon.

Student will demonstrate empathizing with the feelings of another by remembering a similar past experience and sharing it for comfort (e.g., “Last year I was unfairly accused of cheating by a teacher so I know how you must feel now”)FULL_STOP

Student will make a reliable decision in play (e.g., when given choices of what to do next with the doll, student can choose the next step: “Does she want to go swimming or eat broccoli?”)FULL_STOP

(Note that there is now a colon rather than a period after next step.)

Student will express more complex emotions using visual supports, communication and affect (e.g., sick, tired, anxiety, confusion, etc.)FULL_STOP

Note that I have placed a period after etc. I did this because e.g. had periods; either both of those should have periods, or neither. (Thanks to Edwin Ashworth for pointing this out.)

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  • Interesting that eg is displayed as e.g. but etc as etc, isn't it? But your suggestions are not the only ways recommended to use tricky terminal punctuation. You suggest doubly punctuating << ... broccoli?). >> but not << ... confusion, etc). >>. Have you a source endorsing such choices? // All this has been covered before on ELU, with the bottom line 'Check which style guide you're supposed to be using at the moment.'. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 5 at 16:03
  • @EdwinAshworth I fixed the inconsistent punctuation of etc. —thanks! I do make the disclaimer that this isn't the only way to go. My idea was to change as little as possible in the original, because that is what the OP indicated she wants. As for sourcing, I felt these choices, while not the only ones possible, are noncontroversial enough. Do you really think that there is some doubt about whether any reputable source would recommend the double punctuation in the broccoli sentence? But, yes: The Chicago Manual of Style, for one, would seem to be OK with it. I've added that as a comment. – linguisticturn Feb 5 at 17:17
  • Hey, it wasn't your inconsistency. It was interesting that the period didn't occur where it would have been messy (end-of-sentence etc.). // I doubly punctuate where I think it clarifies and/or want to make a point. I once found a reference condoning this. Of course, it's great not to have editors / profs / teachers with red pens at the ready. // Here, 'Student will' already shows headlinese, so really strict punctuation rules would seem rather usurious. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 5 at 17:30

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