Re: Re[2]: Two spaces after a full stop

Subject: Re: Re[2]: Two spaces after a full stop
From: Mike Bygrave <bygravem -at- INTUITIVE -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 1996 10:19:39 +-100

> It most certainly does count! Based on what you are saying, if there
> were no parentheses in that sentence, you would end it as such:
> "... Bibles, Korans, etc.." Two periods? I think not. That period
> in the parens counts just as much as that same period if there were
> no parens.

<on soapbox>
If the clause within brackets is a complete sentence, it should have its
own full stop within the brackets. If the bracketed clause also happens to
be the last part of the whole sentence, then there should also be a full
stop outside the brackets.

"No!" I hear a great many of you cry - "why do you need the second full
stop?", you ask.

If you don't use the second full stop, the sentence which contains the
bracketed clause has not ended. The whole purpose of brackets (and speech
marks, for that matter) is to identify a distinct clause within a sentence,
including that clause's punctuation. Therefore, the punctuation within the
clause is not linked to the punctuation of the sentence that contains it.

To illustrate this, imagine a bracketed clause which is, in itself, a
complete sentence. If that clause occurs in the middle of its host
sentence, the punctuation used would be as follows:

blah blah blah (dum di dum di dum.) blah blah.

If that clause occurs at the end of its host, you are suggesting that it
should be punctuated in the following way:

blah blah blah blah blah (dum di dum di dum.) Diddely diddely dum di dum...

Sorry, that seems clumsy and confusing.
<off soapbox>

Incidentally, for those Americans among you, 'brackets' are parentheses and
'full stops' are periods. But you knew that anyway, didn't you?

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