27 Dec 2008
To finish off the year we’re looking at the full stop. Ha ha ha. I hear you chortle. If there’s one bit of punctuation I know how to use it’s the full stop. Aaaah. That may be the case but do you know when not to use it? Ok, here we go eyes down.
Use a full stop:
At the end of complete sentence.
Between words when you’re making a dramatic point: Like. Oh. My. God.
After abbreviations: Ibid. e.g. No.7.
Inside a bracket if it’s a complete sentence: She wore a red dress. (The other girl wore a blue one.)
Outside a bracket if the sentence is incomplete: She wore a red dress (and the other girl wore a blue one).
Outside quotation marks if the full stop is not part of the quote: Shakespeare wrote “now is the winter of our discontent”. (This differs from Americans who always put a full stop inside the quote marks, whether it belongs or not. Grrrrr.)
Don’t use a full stop:
When there’s another punctuation mark there already: Hooray! Huh?
For abbreviations like Dr, Mr or St
For acronyms or abbreviations if the word is well known: BBC, NATO, UK
In titles, headings or sub-headings.
If a title or abbreviation has its own punctuation: It was in a report by Which?