Re: Your thoughts on punctuation?

Subject: Re: Your thoughts on punctuation?
From: "John Cook" <john -dot- cook -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2007 15:11:26 -0500

On 4/17/07, Ladonna Weeks <ladonna -dot- weeks -at- comtrak -dot- com> wrote:
> Hello,
> Our product has a keypad used for installation and diagnostics.
> It can display up to four lines of 20 characters each. What is
> correct punctuation for brief, informative statements, such as
> the following:
> (line 1) Calling server
> (line 4) Please wait

Personally, I wouldn't use punctuation if the statements are brief and
informative statements and not fully developed sentences ('Calling
server' instead of 'The device is now communicating with the host
server.'). In this case, the messages are short and declarative and
your real estate is very limited. As you're not getting chatty with
fully-developed sentences, I'd leave the punctuation out.

The one caveat may be to use punctuation to evoke delay. In above
example, you could dispense with line 4 incorporating an ellipsis to
suggest an unfinished process such as: Calling server...

Of course, I don't use periods at the end of bullet points, either, so
I'm consistent in my personal preference. I trust my reader to
understand that each bullet point is a single thought and save
punctuation for full sentences that require the added rigor.

As Sean has written, the most important thing, I think, is consistency
in whichever approach you embrace.
John Cook
Technical Writer / Help Author
john dot cook at gmail dot com

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Your thoughts on punctuation?: From: Ladonna Weeks

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