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Headings, Subheads, Phrases in Titlepages, 8c.

A period is put after a heading or a subhead, indicating the kind of matter treated of; after any term placed over a column of contents or figure-work ; after the address of a person or of persons, as used in epistolary and other writings ; after every signature to a document; after the name of a book or its description, preceding the author's name, in a titlepage ; and after any word or phrase used in imprints, catalogues, &c., when it is not intimately related to what follows. Thus:



Sect. I. - The Importance and Uses of Correct Punctuation

Notes illustrating its Value
Sect. II. - Plan of the Work, and Definitions of the Terms used

Definitions of Sentences, &c. .

1 18 19 20


To Mr. Solomon Piper. Dear Sir, - We hereby acknowledge the receipt of your favor of the 25th instant, addressed to our society, in which you are pleased, for reasons assigned, to present an organ to be placed in our new meeting-house for the purpose of aiding in public worship. Be pleased, dear sir, to accept the thanks of the society. Very gratefully and respectfully, yours, &c.,


ASA H. FISK DUBLIN, Peb. 28, 1853.


3. The First-class Standard Reader, for Public and Private Schools. By Epes

Sargent. Boston: Phillips, Sampson, and Company. 1854. Mill (John Stuart). A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive. Third

edition. London, 1851. Christmas with the Poets; a Collection of Songs, Carols, and Descriptive

Verses, relating to the Festival of Christmas.


a. No point should be attached to the name of any article or subject which is followed, as in the first example, by leaders, or several points serving to lead the eye to term or figure put at the end of the line, and completing the sense.

b. When the subjects of a chapter or section, specified in a heading or in the contents or index of a book, are distinct, they should be separated by a period; but, if closely connected in sense, they are more appropriately marked by a minor point, according to the degree of connection subsisting between them; as, “ Chap. II. America. Discovery and Settlement: Columbus, Americus, Cabot, &c. Conquest of Mexico: Cortez, Pizarro, &c."

c. When the names in signatures are followed each by an explanatory term, the full point should be placed after the latter; as, JAMES MABSHALL, President.



} Committee.


Names, Titles, and other Words, abbreviated.

The period must be used after every abbreviated word.


1. The age of MSS. is, in some instances, known by dates inserted in them. 2. Dr. II. Marsh, F.R.S., &c., Bishop of Peterborough; b. 1757, d. 1839. 8. The Plays of Wm. Shakspeare are sometimes printed from the text of Geo.

Stevens, Esq., and Edw. Malone, Esq.


a. When an abbreviated word ends a sentence, only one period is used to show the omission of the letters, and the termination of the sentence; but any other point required by the construction should be inserted after the period, as exemplified above in the abbreviations “ F.R.S., &c.," and the “Esq." which appears after the name of George Stevens. In such lists of words, however, as contain many abbreviations, the period only may be used, if no obscurity, or doubtfulness of meaning, would be produced by the omission of the grammatical point. - See p. 151, Remark c.

b. In books printed at Edinburgh, the period is omitted after an abbreviated word which retains the last letter; as, “ Dr Combe; Mr Buckingham.” But this does not seem to be a sufficient reason for deviating from general usage.

c. Some printers use the apostrophe to indicate an ellipsis of intermediate letters in words which are fully pronounced; as, “ Cha's; W’m,” — a style of pointing that should never be resorted to, except in abbreviations of long and unusual words, and where saving of space is essential, as in headings to columns of figure-work.

d. Words derived from a foreign language, and introduced into the English, may be written or printed without the period, when they are uniformly used as contractions, and pronounced accordingly; as, “ Two per cent is but small interest.” Here, “cent,” thu abbreviation of the Latin centum, being now an English word, and pronounced as such, the period is unnecessary.

e. Such words as 1st, 2dly, 12mo, 8vo, 80, are not, strictly speaking, abbreviations; for the figures represent the first letters of each word. The period, therefore, should not be used, unless any of these terms come at the end of a sentence. When several subjects are specified, or when particular days of a month or various sizes of books are often mentioned, words of this form are perhaps unobjectionable; but, in the usual kinds of composition, it would be better to write them in full; as, “The command of the army was given in 1796 to Napoleon Bonaparte, then in the twenty-seventh year of his age.”

f. When the letters of the alphabet (A, B, C; a, b, c, &c.) are employed as significant signs, or for the purpose reference, it is better to point them, not as abbreviations, but as ordinary words, in accordance with the construction of the sentences in which they occur; as, “ The dominical letters for 1776 were G, F: therefore the first Sunday in January was the 7th of the month. Then, A representing the 7th January, D would represent the 7th February; D, the 7th March; G, the 7th April; B, the 7th May; E, the 7th June; and G, the 7th July." When placed at the beginning of a line, they are treated as subcaptions or sideheads, which, agreeably to Rule II., p. 147, require to be followed by a period, and which, in the Italic form, are so used throughout the present work.

g. Proper names, when shortened and meant so to be pronounced, should not, except at the end of a sentence, be written printed with a full point; as, “On the poet's tombstone were inscribed the words, 'O rare Ben Jonson!” »

h. Lists of abbreviated words will be given in Appendix, No. IV.


Marks or Figures used instead of Words. When either marks or Arabic figures are substituted for words, the period should not be used, except at the end of a sentence; but the full point is inserted before decimals, and between pounds and shillings.


1. He borrows $5,000, and agrees to pay interest at 6 per cent per annum 2. As an illustration of our remarks, see g 2,1 10, notes * and t. 3. 8+9+7 X 13 — 5 + 10 X 6 – 12 X 2 =5+21 = 777. 4. £1. 108. 64. sterling is equivalent to $6.78, United States money.

REMARKS. a. Marks and figures are considered as representative signs, not abbreviations. Hence the propriety of the rule.

b. When figures are put in a tabular or columnar form, periods are not inserted; but, when they occur in regularly constructed sentences or in dates or headings, that point should be used which would be adopted if they were written in words.


Letters used for Figures or Words. When numerals are written in characters of the alphabet, instead of words or Arabic figures, it is usual 10 insert periods after them in all situations; and, when employed as dates, to separate by periods the portions into which they are divided when audibly read.


1. In proof of his position, the learned divine referred to Gen. vi. 12, 13.

Ps. Ixv. 2; 1xxviii. 39. Acts ii. 17. 1 Cor. i. 29. 2. In the titlepages of books and in inscriptions, dates are sometimes put in

capitals, instead of figures; as, M.DCCC.LV. for 1855.


a. A full point is, in the first example, put after chapters vi., Ixv., Ixxviii., ii., and i.; and, in the second, after M., DCCC., and LV.,not as being equivalent to the grammatical period, but merely be cause, of all the marks, it is the least offensive to the eye, and has been generally employed in such cases.

b. In referring to the chapters of the Bible, some writers use the Arabic figures; as, “ Gen. 6. 12, 13,” or “6: 12, 13;” putting after them a colou or a period. But the mode exhibited in the first example under the rule is supported by the best usage, and is, we think, much preferable in its more clearly distinguishing the chapters from the verses.

c. Bible and other references are sometimes made by the insertion of a comma after the period; as, “ Gen., vi., 12, 13;” “ Vol. i., part iv., sect. ii., § 3.” But, though this mode of punctuation is more accurate than that which omits the comma, it is less simple; and, because uncouth in its appearance, should not be adopted, unless, as in Remark a, it is essential to a clear discerning of the sense. See p. 100, second portion of Remark j.


Assign the reasons given in the four preceding Rules and the Remarks for the

punctuation of headings, names of books, abbreviations, marks, figures, and numeral capitals, as they occur in the followmg sentences :

What will £100 amount to in 34 years, at 45 per cent per annum, compound interest? (Rule IV.; and Remark d, under Rule III.)

The train leaves New York at 9 o'clock, A.m., and 44, P.m.; returning at 10 in the evening. (Rules IV. and III.)

But the seasons are not alike in all countries of the same region, for the reasons already given. See chap. vi. xii. 1 4, p. 530. (Rule III. ; and Rule V., Remark c.) Poetical Works. Mark Akenside. Lond. 1865. 2 vols. 12mo

4538 (Rule II. and Rem. a; Rule III., last of Rem. a, Rem. €; Rule IV.)

To R. H. Dana, jun., Esq., the well-known author of “ Two Years before the Mast,” the community are greatly indebted. (Rule III. and first of Remark a.)

Titus died in the third year of his reign, and the 41st year of his age, not without suspicion of being poisoned by his brother Domi. tian, who succeeded him. (Remark e, under Rule III.)

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