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# Non-haplographic full stops

Did you say Washington, D.C.?
 (+4, -4) [vote for, against]

Though readers can usually ascertain the end of sentences ending with abbreviations, for example, it would be more clear to end such sentences with two periods. And it would be more consistent since the English language seems to do that with other forms of punctuation.

It seems to me that the simplest approach would be to use two periods for full stops whenever a sentence ends with an abbreviation or other non-conventional full stop.

This:

"The company in question is XYZ Inc. The owner of that company is Joe Jones, Jr. Since Mr. Jones owns 75.5% of XYZ Inc., he is responsible for compliance with the building codes as they pertain to Washington, D.C. Is this not the case?"

would become:

"The company in question is XYZ Inc.. The owner of that company is Joe Jones, Jr.. Since Mr. Jones owns 75.5% of XYZ Inc., he is responsible for compliance with the building codes as they pertain to Washington, D.C.. Is this not the case?"

Note how the double full stops above seem odd but the "Summary" below the title is, as near as I can tell, correct English.

A more complete approach would be to develop distinct punctuation marks for each type of application of the period.

Full stop: keep the period as-is.

Decimal: perhaps an open circle instead of the disk-shaped period

Abbreviation: small squares instead of disk-shaped periods

Elipses: keep them as-is becuase they are distinct enough.

 — Gamma48, Apr 11 2009

Wikipedia: Haplography http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplography
Writing something only once, even if it should be written twice. [jutta, Apr 11 2009]

[Smurfsahoy, Apr 14 2009]

 Eh, they look like ellipses to me still. I just get the feeling that XYZ is very unsure of itself.

The different symbol idea is interesting, but confusing given existing texts, and nobody is going to sit there making little open circles for an entire accounting book (and dot vs. square is arbitrary currently, depending on font, for periods)
 — Smurfsahoy, Apr 11 2009

I'm in favor of *more* haplography; i.e, I think if an abbreviation like i.e. is followed by a comma, the comma should replace the last period (q.v, above)
 — phundug, Apr 11 2009

When taught to touch type you leave two spaces after the end of a sentence (blah blah blah. Rubarb Rubard rubarb) to indicate a new sentence. So this is already baked in another form.
 — eight_nine_tortoise, Apr 12 2009

 The style guide for the Guardian newspaper no longer uses periods for acronyms, apparently relying on the captialisation throughout to identify it so this is a problem that may go away.

 Note that the touch typing double space after a sentence may be prone to disappear too, in part because of HTML's approach of stripping down white space (such as two spaces) to a single space.

A square period probably is not to distinguishable from a round period at standard font sizes. I favour something small and iconic like a skull, elephant or a duck.
 — Aristotle, Apr 14 2009

This period looks like a duck? See link
 — Smurfsahoy, Apr 14 2009

 Just rewrite the sentence so that it doesn't look wonky. A lack of editing skill is no reason to change the rules.

Jo Jones II, as 75.5% owner of of XYZ, is responsible for that corporation's building code compliance in the nation's capital. Is that correct?
 — nomocrow, Apr 14 2009

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