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Using Periods

 

Techniques > Use of language > Punctuation > Using Periods

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Method

End of sentence

The humble dot is too easy to use. Just put it at the end of sentences. 

Use it to create finality of something said.

Abbrev.

Use it also in abbreviations. An informal short-cut here that is often used is to use one period when two should be used. Thus eg. rather than e.g., qv. rather than q.v. etc. Sometimes, the period is completely omitted, such as 6am rather than 6 a.m.

Example

Hello. My name is Dr. Who, Ph.D.

S.W.A.L.K. XXX

Discussion

When reading, the period gives a long pause -- longer than commas or semicolons. This leaves a sense of finality and completion. It also separates language out into understandable chunks.

In abbreviations, the period signals that there are letters missing.

When you are typing, the English convention is to put two spaces after the period.  In the USA, the rule is only one space. This is interesting in that a larger space hints at taking a longer pause, which of course you do after a period (longer, at least than a comma).

See also

Using simple sentences

 

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