1. mbinks89
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    mbinks89 Active Member

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    Punctuation: Ending a sentence with an acronym?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by mbinks89, Jun 23, 2013.

    I traveled to the U.S..

    I traveled to the U.S.

    Is the dot at the end of U.S. sufficient to serve as a period, or do I need to do a period after it? Example A looks wrong.
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Just one period. :)
     
  3. blackstar21595
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    blackstar21595 Contributing Member

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    What Ginger said.
     
  4. mbinks89
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    mbinks89 Active Member

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    Thanks guys.
     
  5. Shandeh
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    Shandeh Active Member

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    I use a lot of acronyms. It may not be grammatically correct, I'm not sure, but I just do away with intra-acronym periods and only use them at the end of a sentence. It still makes sense.

    I'm a HUGE Halo fangirl, think I have 4 fanfictions on the fly plus a play-by-forum roleplay with my brother and a friend, which I work on between sessions on my novel [completely different genre - it's quite refreshing!], so here's a quick example of how heavy my acronym use can be:

    The Warthog LRV's engine roared in protest. Damn ONI and their damn lies. At least the UNSC was open about their crap. Joe floored the accelerator, pushing the 'Hog to its limits. From the passenger seat, Major Dalton spat a string of violent curses and sprayed the enemy with bullets from her ODST-issue SMG. SOCOM variant, naturally. Above and behind him, the chaingun spewed lead, and as the 'Hog bounced over the terrain, his BR-55 dug into his back. If that Spartan on the gun - MCPO S-11-something-or-other; Joe thought the last number was a 7 - didn't pull out a miracle soon, they were all dead. Talk about FUBAR. And the Spartan didn't say a f***ing word. Shit, Joe thought, he was one tough SOB.

    I don't use quite this many normally, but my grandfather's a veteran - just about every other word that comes out of his mouth is an acronym for something!
     
  6. E. C. Scrubb
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    E. C. Scrubb Active Member

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    The question about fanfiction is different. Really, in the fanfiction world you're involved in, canon becomes your style guide. So, for instance, even though you would normally capitalize a name, say, like Jamie. If for some reason, in the fanfiction world you are writing in, that name isn't capitalized, then the correct spelling is jamie.
     
  7. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    My husband, an experienced Scottish journalist (sub-editor), has broken me of the habit of using periods for acronyms. However, if an acronym could be mistaken for an actual word ...such as US ...you might end up in confusion. That's where you should re-jig your writing to better effect. Maybe use 'USA' instead?
     
  8. Ian J.
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    Ian J. Active Member

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    The bigger problem is for non-period punctuation:

    Does that guy live in the U.S.?

    or

    Does that guy live in the U.S?

    Same with exclamation marks. I prefer to keep the last period and add the question or exclamation mark after it, as in the first example.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    'U.S.' isn't really an acronym, it's just an abbreviation, or set of initials... an acronym is a word that is formed from the initials of something, like NOW or HOMES [even if it's a made-up word like 'SMERSH' or 'OPEC' or 'WAC']... and we don't say 'us' for the US ['you-ess'] do we?...

    also, acronyms don't have to have periods after each initial, so i don't see there being any punctuation dilemma...
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Smersh isn't an acronym. It's a portmanteau for Směrt Špionam (death to spies).

    The fictitious spy organization U.N.C.L.E. was an acronym, always written with the periods. Nevertheless, if it appeared at the end of a sentence it would be correct to end the sentence with only one period.
     
  11. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    This one.^
     
  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Some interesting trivia:
    Never heard of quango. :p

    It was also interesting to me since I work with respirators that, while using SCBA all the time for self contained breathing apparatus, it never dawned on me where the word scuba came from.

    According to Oxford's, periods for many abbreviations and acronyms are optional.
     
  13. Shandeh
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    Shandeh Active Member

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    I've seen it both ways in Halo canon. And I've seen it spelled out [for dialogue only]. El-are-vee. Em-see-pee-oh. I find that awkward to write [and read!], so I stick with LRV and MCPO. The difficulty is they've used several different authors and those authors haven't stuck with one convention. They all sort of write how they want to write within the universe. It's kind of irritating. You pick up a book and start to read, and then because it's different, it pulls you out of the story a little bit. I'm more into the games than the books to begin with. Add inconsistencies of convention within the canon, and it's just offputting.

    I use the exact same method of acronym management in my crime novel. My MC is an FBI agent and has dealings with the ME in the course of the story. While the acronym use isn't nearly as heavy there, it is present, and does need to be kept consistent. For that reason, I use the same conventions of acronym and abbreviation management for all my writing.
     
  14. rachyroo
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    rachyroo New Member

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    Definitely just the one.
     

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