(and other terminal punctuation)

Use periods in the following instances:

-- To indicate the end of a declarative sentence

The quartet sang for the Boy Scout banquet.
The order was shipped from Kenosha yesterday.

-- To indicate the end of an imperative sentence

Ship the order immediately.
Please sing that phrase more softly.

-- To make a courteous request

Will you please reply promptly.

-- To punctuate abbreviations and initials

Dr. Val J. Hicks        Mr. Smith        7:00 a.m.

-- To punctuate numerals or letters used in vertical lists.

a. Tenors1. President
b. Leads2. Chapter Development VP
c. Baritones         3. Performance VP
d. Basses4. Secretary/Treasurer

-- When a sentence ends with an abbreviation, one period is sufficient for both the abbreviation and the end of the sentence.

Send the package to Smith and Webber, Inc.

Question marks and exclamation marks

These two terminal punctuation marks are used in obvious situations. Problems arise, however, when an editor uses them to produce emphasis. For this reason, use exclamation marks sparingly, and never in multiples. A strong statement will usually stand on its own without the addition of an exclamation mark. Some writers never use them.

Similarly with question marks, never use them in multiples or in combination with exclamation marks. Editors sometimes refer to these excessive punctuation marks as "screamers."

Avoid I can't believe we won the contest!!!
What did he mean when he said our show would be "acoustically great"?!?!?


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