Chicago Style Workout 61: Periods

Scoring Points

Periods are small but powerful. Not only do they bring entire sentences to a stop with a single dot, they’re also commonly found in abbreviations and numbers. How well do you know this essential little mark? To find out, take the quiz.

Subscribers to The Chicago Manual of Style Online may click through to the linked sections of the Manual (cited in most of the answers). (For a 30-day free trial of CMOS Online, click here.)

Note: Style guides sometimes disagree. Except for a few details that can be readily verified in standard dictionaries and encyclopedias, the answers in this quiz rely on the information in the 17th edition of CMOS.

Chicago Style Workout 61: Periods

1. In Chicago style, a sentence-ending period is always immediately followed by a single space.
2. In Chicago style, initialisms (abbreviations pronounced as individual letters) usually feature periods. For example, “D.N.A.” and “N.B.A.” (not “DNA” and “NBA”).
3. In Chicago style, acronyms (abbreviations pronounced as words) don’t normally feature periods. For example, “UNICEF” and “SARS” (not “U.N.I.C.E.F.” and “S.A.R.S.”).
4. Three periods in a row are called
5. What’s the name for a row of periods that connects a chapter title or other heading to a page number in a table of contents?
6. In edited prose, a sentence-ending period is more likely to be replaced by which of these marks?
7. Which of the following fonts features periods shaped like diamonds?
8. Which mark of punctuation stands in for periods in a number of common abbreviations?
9. Which of the following is not another common name for a period?
10. In US usage, decimals are marked by periods (as in a number like 9.5). In international and scientific usage, which of the following marks is likely to be used instead of a period?


Photo of dominos by Adrià Ariste Santacreu, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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One thought on “Chicago Style Workout 61: Periods

  1. I enjoyed today’s quiz, but take exception to the answers for questions 8 and 9. First, the wording of question 8 seems to imply replacing single periods (using the plural to parallel the plural “abbreviations”). The hyphen, as in your examples, may conceivably stand in for an ellipsis, but certainly not a single period. When, though, has an ellipsis ever been used in these cases? Can you imagine “c. . .o” or “c.o” (with no period following the “o”) as an abbreviation for “in care of”? Finally, in question 9, the noun “decimal” properly refers to a number expressed in decimal form; only by shorthand might it refer to a “decimal point.”

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