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Period after ) or before?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Moogey, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. Moogey Senior Member

    New Jersey, USA
    USA English
    This has been bugging me for awhile! Does the period of a sentence go inside the parenthesis or outside it? For example:

    That's a good idea (or at least I like it.)
    or
    That's a good idea (or at least I like it).

    Thanks!
    -M
     
  2. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    I always put the period after the parenthesis, as you did in your second example.
    .
     
  3. TrentinaNE Senior Member

    USA
    English (American)
    If there's no period before the parentheses, then it must go after.

    That's a good idea (or at least I like it).
    That's a good idea. (I like it.)

    Elisabetta
     
  4. Moogey Senior Member

    New Jersey, USA
    USA English
    Thanks a bunch to both of you! Now I can continue answering questions here with confidence in my punctuation :D

    -M
     
  5. maxiogee Senior Member

    imithe
    I would agree with the wisdom of TrentinaNE. (…and this applies also to Quotation Marks.)
     
  6. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    It's a point of personal style, but I don't put parentheses around a free-standing sentence. I see parenthetic words, phrases and clauses as incidental (rather than subordinate) inclusions within a sentence-- but then I still tend to write in periodic structure, which necessarily entails long sentences.

    Ad-speak is another possibility. Sentence fragments. Punchy images. A style that leaves little room for insertions. Hey, it's all about the reader's attention span. But I don't like it.

    I'm not saying someone who put parentheses around that last sentence (which actually is a sentence) is wrong-- it's a matter of style like my preference of the m-dash, whereas - as you can readily find - others prefer an n-dash.

    Since when do periods go outside the quotation marks though? That's a new topic, so anyone wanting to pursue it further might want to resurrect one of these recent threads.
    .
     
  7. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    A parenthetical thought is either part of a sentence or a complete sentence.
    If it's part of a sentence, the sentence terminator will come after the ().
    If it's a complete sentence, the sentence terminator will come within the ().

    Alternatively, Elisabetta got it right:)
     
  8. rsweet

    rsweet Senior Member

    English, North America
    Periods and commas always go inside quotation marks (at least in every AE style guide I've seen). Question marks and exclamation marks follow the rule being discussed here.
     
  9. maxiogee Senior Member

    imithe
    You say "Periods and commas always go inside", but I need to put one outside if I wish to ask about colons and to put it inside would be to imply that you used a comma there.

    You say "Periods and commas always go inside", what about colons?

    :D
     
  10. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Inside the parentheses (or inside the quotation marks) should be everything that is needed for the included text - and nothing else.
     
  11. rsweet

    rsweet Senior Member

    English, North America
    BE style may be different from AE, but in AE periods and commas always go inside quotation marks. Colons and semicolons go outside unless they are part of the quotation. "Periods and commas always go inside," she said; maybe if you're in Ireland they go outside sometimes?
     
  12. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    According to "Eats, Shoots and Leaves", (a wonderful book,) there is a definite difference between the way AE writers handle punctuation within parentheses and quotation markes and the way BE writers do. It is a stylistic difference.
     

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