Re: Colons, lists, and periods

Subject: Re: Colons, lists, and periods
From: Andrew Shires <andrews -at- HARLEQUIN -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 1994 16:43:18 GMT

There is some support for leaving the period off the final sentence of
a bulleted paragraph -- check the _Chicago Manual of Style_. I'm
afraid I don't have time to find a reference for it, but that's
certainly where we found our support for this idea.

The trouble is that some people want to treat bulleting as a means of
drawing attention to phrases in a complete sentence, and therefore
want to provide semi-colons, commas, and periods, so that there is a
complete sentence there when you strip the bullets out. This is quite
reasonable. Others want to consider the bullets themselves as
providing the punctuation -- and indeed they do have the effect of
visually delimiting elements of a list -- and so feel that the
punctuation is unnecessary. This is also quite reasonable.

Since there are also many instances in which you can use bullets for
listing information that would not ever be collected into a sentence,
it is often the case that only the latter viewpoint will do.
Therefore, in order to have consistent punctuation of our bulleted
material, we have gone for the "bullets provide punctuation; drop the
period" stance.

I'm interested in what others think. What does a bullet mean to you?

Andrew Shires andrews -at- harlequin -dot- co -dot- uk
Technical Author andrews -at- harlequin -dot- com

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