Periods after abbreviations

Lynne Murphy M.L.Murphy at SUSSEX.AC.UK
Wed Jun 30 10:29:45 UTC 2004

--On Monday, June 28, 2004 2:49 pm -0400 Duane Campbell <dcamp911 at JUNO.COM>

> On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 14:13:03 -0400 Damien Hall
> <halldj at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU> writes:
>> For me, prescriptively, if I might be so bold, no abbreviation
>> should have a
>> period after it unless that period actually replaces letters, so
>> correct forms
>> are:
>> Ms      [etc]
> Perhaps this is just to counterbalance the Brits' compulsive overuse of
> commas.

????  In my experience, Brits hardly use commas at all!!  Unlike Americans,
they don't use them before 'and' in lists, and, again unlike Americans,
they tend not to use them in pre-sentential adjuncts.  So British:

In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

And (at least my!) American style:

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

I have a horrible time parsing my students' essays for this reason, but
I've learnt not to correct them on this point.  Like American students,
though, they love to put commas between long subjects and verbs (the 'where
you pause' rule of comma-putting), which I do correct mercilessly.


Dr M Lynne Murphy
Lecturer in Linguistics

Department of Linguistics and English Language
Arts B133
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QN
>>From UK:  (01273) 678844
Outside UK: +44-1273-678844

More information about the Ads-l mailing list