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Chapter 16. Punctuation: Commas Are Our ... > Period, Question Mark, Exclamation M... - Pg. 157

Punctuation: Commas Are Our Friends 157 The Period: Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200 The period is the workhorse of punctuation. Like a great dessert, it's always welcome at the end. Here's how to use periods: · Use a period after a complete sentence. Example:A hangover is the wrath of grapes. · Use a period after a command. Example:Please close the door behind you. · Use a period after most abbreviations. Examples:Dr., Ms., Jr. · Don't use a period after the individual letters in an acronym. For example, write NATO, not N.A.T.O. · Use a period after an initial. Example:John F. Kennedy · Use a period after each Roman numeral, letter, or number in an outline. Example:I. A. B. 1. 2. · Always place a period inside a quotation mark that ends a sentence. Example:The sign read, "A pest is a friend in need." Danger, Will Robinson If an abbreviation comes at the end of a sentence, do not add another period. The Question Mark: Inquiring Minds Want to Know You know the rules for life: Never wear white shoes after Labor Day, brush after every meal, and avoid making rude noises in public. Here, then, are the rules for using question marks. · Use a question mark after a question. Example:Isn't the Mason-Dixon line what separates y'all from youse guys? · Place the question mark inside of closing quotation marks if it is part of the quotation. Example:In a dream, I heard someone asking, "Isn't atheism a nonprophet organization?" · Place the question mark outside of the closing quotation marks if it is not part of the quotation. Example:Was it your mother who said, "The Lord prefers common-looking people; that's the reason he made so many of them"? (In such a circumstance, it's okay to drop the period from the quotation.)