8/03/2006

Period Piece

When you’re using an abbreviation like b.s. instead of the whole word (bullshit) and it comes at the end of a sentence, do you let that period act as the full stop or do you add another one?

It seems ridiculous to add one but somehow incomplete to leave it on it’s own.

I think I've got a big bag of b.s.


I know I’ve got a big bag of b.s..

Do you think I’ve got a big bag of b.s.?

Wait, it seems like you’d add the question mark in that case so why not other punctuation?

Someone guide me. But be gentle.

32 comments:

Peter said...

"If the abbreviation is ending a declaratory sentence an additional full stop is NOT needed (e.g. My name is Phil Simpson Jr.), but in the case of an interrogative or exclamatory sentence a question or exclamation mark is needed."

I found this on Wikipedia--hope it's not b.s.

chelene said...

I usually let the period act as the full stop but I've struggled with that decision in the past. It feels okay but it looks wrong. Kinda like a third nipple.

haahnster said...

Officially, if my recollection of grammar is correct, you let the second period serve the dual purpose of completing the abbreviation and ending the sentence.

But, you are correct about the question mark (or exclamation point).

An inconsistency in English grammar...go figure!

Old Lady said...

I don't put periods after bs except at the end of a sentence. I hate punctuation.

justacoolcat said...

I consult with the all knowing third nipple and usually end up changing the sentence.

Beth said...

As a copy editor extraordinaire, I advise you to use a single period at the end of a sentence, yet include the period before a question mark or an exclamation point or a semicoln.

haahnster said...

Oh, I just realized that "second period" in my comment above might be misconstrued to mean "next to each other", like this: ".."

I was referring specifically to your b.s. example. Not that your example was bullshit. But, literally, your example used "b.s."

Clear I feel I am not being.

This is an example to clarify: I am full of b.s.

There, that's how I think it should work.

Tenacious S said...

I've wondered the same thing on many occasions. How come grammar gets to break rules all the time with no consequence?

mellowlee said...

w.t.f.?! Like that?

Shroom-Monkey said...

Guide you Dale....

I could never be gentle- where is the fun in that???

Holly said...

Why on earth would you abbreviate bullshit?

gizmorox said...

My answer would be to find a way to end the sentence with something other than the abbreviation. Because if I didn't I'd be antagonizing over it like you are.

But if you must, I agree with everybody else. Never ever put two periods, but feel free to have a period and a question mark or what have you.

justacoolcat said...

Mel - I don't think the exclamation point at the question mark is not grammatically correct.

Then again I'm an A.S.S.!

Dale said...

You've variously enlightened, alarmed and bedazzled me with your replies.

The reason for the b.s. Holly was that I was writing an email to someone at my work and the filters are so strong that not even the sweetest smelling arse can make it through.

Berry said...

Whoa! Really, people? I have always double-perioded in these cases. But, well... I am a rebel, so...

Dale said...

Phil Simpson Jr. I thank you for the research and now understand the lab coat.

Chelene, I can't figure out if I love you because of or in spite of your full stop third nipple.

Haahnster - what?

That's the smart way out Coolcat.

Your all knowing hair is hair I trust Beth. Thank you.

Oh! See do I Haahnster!

I hope you're wondering about other things too Tenacious S. Or else, there will be definite consequences.

What the fuck is that supposed to mean Lee? Abbreviations? I don't geddit.

Ha ha ha, I knew you'd use that against me Monkey.

I think I answered you up above Holly but I loved your reaction. I'm so full of it.

Gizmorox, biologically, it's impossible for me to have a period. Imagine the question marks if I did?

Always Sublimely Succinct Coolcat?

Dale said...

You am a rebel Berry. Plus I like the '...' you used twice in your comment -- wild thing.

Shroom-Monkey said...

I couldn't resist babe...

X. Dell said...

In formal writing, it's always best to spell the word in full.

The crazy grammarcheck on my word processor cites me for being wrong if I put 'etc.' at the end of a line without a second period. When I add a second periiod, it cites me again for putting down two periods.

BTW, if you really do have a big bag of b.s., you might want to find a nice garden for it. B.s. helps things grow, but you gotta spread it around first.

Dale said...

That's because you're irrisistable S-M. Hmm, first time I've thought of your initials like that.

X. Dell - I think I've spread enough of it here so good call, the rest goes straight to my garden. I guess later on, I can refer to this whole episode as having been from my period period.

Winter said...

Shouldn't you be:

passion of dale

instead of:

the passion of dale?

It could be like the Passion of Christ. I think you should let us vote on it.

Dale said...

Please feel free to vote. And also to check the name of my blog Winter.

SlayGirl said...

I'm with X. Dell on the full use of the word. I would, therefore, use the full word bullshit instead of b.s. or bull ass, or bull buttocks. But then of course I use but at the beginning of a sentence so what do I know. It occurs to me that you probably did the post to see how many people you could get to say bullshit so put me down for two.

Dale said...

Bull. Now I'll be counting everything Slaygirl. I was going to shorten your name but then it might be slayg and I didn't think you'd like that. :-)

James Burnett said...

Second period ends the sentence. But to be fair I wouldn't know that if not for copy editor's extraordinaire (haven't read your blog Beth, but kudos; copy editors save my butt a couple of times a week at work).

Dale said...

Thanks for your input as well James. Who knew a simple question would bring out the helpful and the funny in so many?

SlayGirl said...

Nah, I don't mind when people shorten my name as long as it isn't slg. Too many names it could be misinterperated for, then my email spam gets engorged and it just wouldn't be pretty. Knew you'd understand, thnx.

Dale said...

You said engorged, heh heh heh heh.

Holly said...

OK, I accept the need to fool the filters... but wouldn't it be better to try a lively euphemism the filter might accept--say, "complete and utter crap," or maybe, "gangrenous horse testicles"--instead of sounding like a prissy nine-year-old girl or her easily offended grandmother?

Dale said...

I think it was just because the person I was emailing likes the sound of the phrase big bag of bullshit which I think we stole from Kathy Griffin's Dvd Allegedly when she was talking about Gwyneth Paltrow.

I like the idea of channeling my inner prissy 9 yr old girl though. You're so excellent Holly.

Holly said...

Well, if the "big bag of bullshit" was being used to describe Gwyneth Paltrow, then I'm all for it. Saviour Onassis and I HATE her. (Sorry, Reese, if you're reading this, 'cause I know you like her a lot.)

And I'll admit I am kind of fond of unleashing my inner prissy nine-year-old girl as well. She's pretty well developed, since I actually was one once.

Dale said...

Gwyneth seems like a big asshole. I don't mind her acting but she is ridiculous I'm sure. You and S.O. are so hilarious and now even more excellent for this admission.

Please watch Allegedly and laugh.