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Period facts some of which you might not know.

Points, Full Stop, Full Point. Period.


Even though you use periods every time you write.  And full stops of course. I could talk endlessly about all forms of punctuation because as a proofreader I’m expected to know these things. But I won’t. Even though I do.


So why the fascination about periods? (At this point I’ll refer to periods as full stops. It seems less awkward for some reason. Or better still point(s).) Well at least I find them fascinating. They make clear what would otherwise be nonsense and then where would we all be? So here goes:


A point can follow abbreviations of titles. For example, a point can follow Dr, Mr or Drs. This depends on whether you’re using U.K. or U.S. English. In U.S. English the point is used even though the title is a contraction where the word includes the first and last letter, e.g. Dr. In U.K. English this is not the case and Dr without the point should be used.


Under no circumstances should points be used in immediate succession.


! or ? can mark the end of a sentence but neither ‘contains’ a point.


A single word can be followed by a point although this usually occurs in fiction: ‘I stood there in the darkness. Terrified.’ Or indeed, ‘Look, I’m in charge! Period.’


A point should not be confused with one that occurs in geometry where the point signifies a place rather than an entity.  http://www.mathopenref.com/point.html


A point is always circular. This might sound obvious but a square ‘point’ can sometimes feature in a list of items.


A point should never immediately precede a sentence.


Finally, long sentences should, ideally, be broken up into shorter sentences by inserting points. The great author Charles Dickens may have had a penchant for such things http://brettjanes.com/charles-dickens-opening-sentences/ but they wouldn’t find favour these days.