Properly Punctuated: Period, .

Posted February 4, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Properly Punctuated, Self-Editing, Writing

Most everyone gets the period right. In fact, the biggest problem most writers have is inserting two spaces after the period before starting the next sentence.

Back when we used typewriters, it was necessary to insert those two spaces between sentences to help distinguish one sentence from the next. With computers, they’re coded to add an extra bit of space, so you don’t need to.

One self-editing tip everyone can easily do is use Find > Replace to search out “._ _” and replace it with “._” (the single underline represents a blank space).

Punctuation is…

…the proper use of quotation marks, commas, semicolons, colons, ellipsis, etc., including how to properly mark dialog, ahem. As Properly Punctuated is in no way complete, I would appreciate suggestions and comments from anyone…

If you’d like to track it, bookmark this page — and consider sharing this Properly Punctuated tidbit with friends by tweeting it.

Period, .
Credit to: Burckmyer, 154
Punctuation: .
General Definition: Indicates the ending for a sentence.

Post Contents:

A.k.a., full stop
Always Use a Period with:
End of Sentence Rule: A period always ends a sentence, unless of course it’s a question or an exclamation or an ellipsis or… There is no space between the last letter and the period. Use one space between the period and the first letter of the next sentence.

Exceptions are sentences ending with an ellipsis, an exclamation mark, a question mark,

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There will be a test on Monday.

Leave the building in an orderly fashion.

Joey played with the kittens all afternoon.

Sentence Ends with an Abbreviation Rule: If the sentence ends with a punctuated abbreviation, that period is enough to end the sentence. Never use a double period. The exceptions are if the sentence ends with a question mark or an exclamation mark.

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Did you get your Ph.D.?

I understand that you got your Ph.D.

You got your Ph.D.…

You got your Ph.D.!

Sentence Ends with an Indirect Question Rule: Use a period at the end of an indirect question.

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Why he can never pick up his socks, I will never understand.

I wonder why Helen is always late.

Run-in Subhead Rule:
Use a period to separate a heading that is run in at the beginning of a paragraph.

CAUTION: Be aware that various style guides require that this subhead by distinguished from the paragraph text with styles ranging from italics to bold to a combination of bold and italics. It should also use sentence-style capitalization and use that period to finish the “sentence”.

APA & MLA Rule: A 3rd level run-in subhead is:

  • Indented run-in at beginning of paragraph, boldface, sentence case capitalization, ending with a period.

A 4th level run-in subhead is:

  • Indented run-in at beginning of paragraph, boldface, italicized, sentence case capitalization, ending with a period.

A 5th level run-in subhead is:

  • Indented run-in at beginning of paragraph, italicized, sentence case capitalization, ending with a period.
Chicago
Turabian
Rule:
A 5th level run-in subhead is:

  • Indented run-in at beginning of paragraph, boldface or italic
    (whichever you choose, use the same bold or italic you used in levels one and three), sentence case capitalization, ending with a period.
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Rule:
A 2nd level run-in subhead is:

  • Enumerated by capital letters followed by periods, flush left, italicized, title case capitalization
Society for American Archaeology (SAA) Rule:
A 3rd level run-in subhead is:

  • Indented run-in at beginning of paragraph, italicized, title case capitalization, ending with a period.
Inside Brackets or Parentheses
End Sentence Inside Brackets or Parentheses Rule: If the entire sentence is inside brackets or parentheses, the period goes inside.

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Mary ate the whole bag. (She loves marshmallows.)
Phrase Inside Brackets or Parentheses Rule: If the phrase is inside brackets or parentheses AND is part of a sentence, the period goes outside.

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Mary ate the whole bag (of marshmallows).
Person’s Initials Rule: In using a person’s initials, add a period immediately after each letter, only adding a space after the last initial.

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E.E. Cummings
J.D. Robb
J.R.R. Tolkien
Sometimes Use a Period with:
Abbreviation Rule: In the U.S., most abbreviations end with a period. Some can go either way, i.e., PhD.

NOTE: If the abbreviated word ends the sentence, the period at the end of the abbreviation is enough; don’t add a second period. Of course, if the sentence is a question or an exclamation, then do add the appropriate ending punctuation. If the sentence ends with an abbreviation AND an ellipsis, use four periods.

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1:30 a.m.
Washington D.C.
Ph.D.
Mr.
Mrs.
St.
Ave.
Did you get your Ph.D.?

I understand that you got your Ph.D.

You got your Ph.D.…

You got your Ph.D.!

Personal Title Rule: In the U.S., abbreviated titles end with a period.

In Britain, titles usually leave off the period.

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Mr.
Mrs.
Esq.
Prof.
Det.
Dr.
Pres.
Acronym Rule: Acronyms were once required to use a period after each letter, but this is falling by the wayside. Verify how that organization prefers to style its acronym by checking with their website.

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NAACP
NASA
U.S.
USPS
UPS
U.N.I.C.E.F.
FBI
CIA
LAX
PhD
MA
BS
Lists Caution: Do not use at the end of list items in a vertical list unless you have more than one complete sentence in that item.

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With a Period Without a Period
Mary had a number of tasks left:

  • Pick up the clothes from the drycleaner
  • Order the traveling gear from Tilley Endurables. Mark takes a size 32.
  • Ask Helen to keep an eye on the house. Remind her about the dog.
Mary had a number of tasks left:

  • Drycleaners
  • Order shorts and hat
  • Call housesitter
Never Use a Period with:
Double Period Rule: Never use a double period to end a sentence.

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The study was funded by Mulvehill & Co.
Titles
Headings
Addresses
Signatures
Datelines
Rule: Never use a period after chapter titles, any kind of headings, short captions, datelines in correspondence, signatures, or addresses (Chicago, 6.15).

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Chapter 6
The -ing Endings
Two Theta (degrees)
January 4, 2016


George Jones
1234 Main Drive
Anywhere MO 66666


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