Those funny little marks.

Where to put them?

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Those funny little marks.

#1  Postby orpheus » Mar 07, 2012 1:09 am

I know that when a parenthetical clause completes a sentence the period is on the outside (like this).

I also know that when a complete sentence is in parentheses, the period goes on the inside. (This would be an example.)

But I don't where the period should go when the parentheses contain two parts (like this. The first part, as you can see, completes the sentence, while this is in itself a complete sentence.) *

*or ).

Help?
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Re: Those funny little marks.

#2  Postby Wiðercora » Mar 08, 2012 3:57 pm

Put it outside. It looks less ugly.

But if It was me, I'd use two full-stops, one over there (and one here.). Because I'm weirdly completionist about my sentences, but I'm absolutely certain that no style-guide would recommend that.
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Re: Those funny little marks.

#3  Postby Evolving » Mar 08, 2012 4:35 pm

I would do this:

But I don't know where the period should go when the parentheses contain two parts (like this; the first part, as you can see, could have completed the sentence, while this also could have been a complete sentence, but has been punctuated so that it isn't).


I don't think you can do what your sentence purports to do, Orpheus; it reminds me of those formula errors in Excel that bring up ERROR, because you're trying to multiply the cell by itself, or suchlike.
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Re: Those funny little marks.

#4  Postby orpheus » Mar 08, 2012 4:41 pm

Wiðercora wrote:Put it outside. It looks less ugly.

But if It was me, I'd use two full-stops, one over there (and one here.). Because I'm weirdly completionist about my sentences, but I'm absolutely certain that no style-guide would recommend that.


I like that idea. And I'd probably do it because no style guide would recommend it.

I actually used to earn a decent living as an editor. (But sometimes people did give me odd looks.)






Edited: because I used to be an editor, dammit!
Last edited by orpheus on Mar 08, 2012 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Those funny little marks.

#5  Postby orpheus » Mar 08, 2012 4:44 pm

Evolving wrote:I would do this:

But I don't know where the period should go when the parentheses contain two parts (like this; the first part, as you can see, could have completed the sentence, while this also could have been a complete sentence, but has been punctuated so that it isn't).


I don't think you can do what your sentence purports to do, Orpheus; it reminds me of those formula errors in Excel that bring up ERROR, because you're trying to multiply the cell by itself, or suchlike.


Hmm. You may be right. Reminds me of this:

Image
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Re: Those funny little marks.

#6  Postby Evolving » Mar 08, 2012 4:55 pm

:lol:
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Re: Those funny little marks.

#7  Postby Precambrian Rabbi » Mar 08, 2012 5:19 pm

I think you need to use two periods, as Widercora suggests, but both of them should be placed within their own parenthesis (like this. The first part, as you can see, completes the sentence, while this is in itself a complete sentence (.)(.) :tehe: )

[/childish humour]

To me, parentheses create their own little sub-levels, offset from the containing text, which should be entirely 'skippable' i.e. nothing inside parentheses should be essential to the structure or coherence of the 'higher-level' containing text. These levels are dependent on the containing text but the containing text should not be dependent upon them. In your example, the period is essential to the structure of the containing text (otherwise the main sentence remains unclosed) so I would say that a period should certainly be on the outside of the parentheses, on the same level as the main sentence.

Whether you should use an additional period within the parentheses, I'm a little less certain about. Higher level text shouldn't be reliant upon punctuation contained in a sub-level, as expressed above, but it seems clear that parenthesised text is allowed to rely on punctuation used in its higher level containing text (such as this text, which is happy to share the period with the main sentence). So, reflecting on this basis, I think I would go with one parenthetically emancipated period in your example.

Edit - To demonstrate, all of the examples proposed in the OP work with the parenthesised parts (highlighted for clarity) omitted, except for the third option:

orpheus wrote:I know that when a parenthetical clause completes a sentence the period is on the outside (like this). I have added this text for the purpose of example.

I also know that when a complete sentence is in parentheses, the period goes on the inside. (This would be an example.) I have also added this text for the purpose of example.

But I don't where the period should go when the parentheses contain two parts (like this. The first part, as you can see, completes the sentence, while this is in itself a complete sentence.) And I have also added his conjunction originating text, again for the purpose of example.
Last edited by Precambrian Rabbi on Mar 08, 2012 5:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Those funny little marks.

#8  Postby Animavore » Mar 08, 2012 5:22 pm

orpheus wrote:I know that when a parenthetical clause completes a sentence the period is on the outside (like this).

I also know that when a complete sentence is in parentheses, the period goes on the inside. (This would be an example.)

But I don't where the period should go when the parentheses contain two parts (like this (the first part, as you can see, completes the sentence, while this is in itself a complete sentence)). *

*or ).

Help?


:this:

...is how I would do it.
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Re: Those funny little marks.

#9  Postby CdesignProponentsist » Mar 08, 2012 5:23 pm

Wiðercora wrote:Put it outside. It looks less ugly.

But if It was me, I'd use two full-stops: one over there (and one here.). Because I'm weirdly completionist about my sentences, but I'm absolutely certain that no style-guide would recommend that.


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Re: Those funny little marks.

#10  Postby Evolving » Mar 08, 2012 5:47 pm

Ani: that works too. Effectively equivalent to what I suggested.

Precambrian R: I agree about the levels; that explains it very elegantly.
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Re: Those funny little marks.

#11  Postby orpheus » Mar 08, 2012 6:52 pm

Agreed about levels, Rabbi.

Ani, I think you're right, but I guess my example wasn't the best. I don't think your solution of nested parentheses works if the second parenthetical clause is not subordinate to the first, but rather simply a separate statement. Something like this:

My apartment is really messy and needs to be neatened (and cleaned. I'll also need to vacuum. Later my brother will come over.)

Not the most elegant example, but do you see what I mean?
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Re: Those funny little marks.

#12  Postby Animavore » Mar 08, 2012 6:55 pm

orpheus wrote:My apartment is really messy and needs to be neatened (And cleaned. I'll also need to vacuum. Later my brother will come over.).


I always do :this: in cases of that. Not sure if that's proper.
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Re: Those funny little marks.

#13  Postby orpheus » Mar 08, 2012 7:24 pm

Animavore wrote:
orpheus wrote:My apartment is really messy and needs to be neatened (And cleaned. I'll also need to vacuum. Later my brother will come over.).


I always do :this: in cases of that. Not sure if that's proper.


Yeah, I'm leaning toward that too. I wish it didn't look so awkward. Or waste extra ink.
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