period

period
 (British, full stop). Two common errors are associated with the period, both of which arise from its absence. The first is the runon sentence - that is, the linking of two complete thoughts by a comma. It is never possible to say whether a run-on sentence is attributable to ignorance on the part of the writer or to whimsy on the part of the typesetter, but the error occurs frequently enough that ignorance must play a part. In each of the following I have indicated with a slash where one sentence should end and the next should begin: "Although GEC handled the initial contract, much of the equipment is American,/the computers and laser printers come from Hewlett Packard" (Guardian); "Confidence is growing that OPEC will resolve its crisis,/however the Treasury is drawing up contingency plans" (Times); "Funds received in this way go towards the cost of electricity and water supply,/industries, shops and communes pay higher rates" (Times).
 The second lapse arises when a writer tries to say too much in a single sentence, as here: "The measures would include plans to boost investment for self-financing in industry, coupled with schemes to promote investment and saving, alleviate youth unemployment, fight inflation, and lower budget deficits, as well as a new look at the controversial issue of reducing working hours" (Times). If the writer has not lost his readers, he has certainly lost himself. The last lumbering flourish ("as well as a new look.. .") is grammatically unconnected to what has gone before; it just hangs there. The sentence is crying out for a period - almost anywhere would do - to give the reader a chance to absorb the wealth of information being provided.
 Here is another in which the writer tells us everything but his phone number: "But after they had rejected once more the umpires’ proposals of $5,000 a man for the playoffs and $10,000 for the World Series on a three-year contract and the umpires had turned down a proposal of $3,000 for the playoffs and $7,000 for the World Series on a one-year contract, baseball leaders said the playoffs would begin today and they had umpires to man the games" (New York Times).
 There is no quota on periods. When an idea is complicated, break it up and present it in digestible chunks. One idea to a sentence is still the best advice that anyone has ever given on writing.

Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors. 2013.

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  • period — pe‧ri‧od [ˈpɪəriəd ǁ ˈpɪr ] noun [countable] a particular length of time: • She has been taken on for a 6 month trial period. acˈcounting ˌperiod ACCOUNTING a period of time to which a particular payment is related for accounting or tax purposes …   Financial and business terms

  • Period — Pe ri*od, n. [L. periodus, Gr. ? a going round, a way round, a circumference, a period of time; ? round, about + ? a way: cf. F. p[ e]riode.] 1. A portion of time as limited and determined by some recurring phenomenon, as by the completion of a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • period — [pir′ē əd] n. [ME paryode < MFr periode < L periodus < Gr periodos, a going around, cycle < peri , around + hodos, way < IE base * sed , to go > Sans ā sad , go toward] 1. the interval between recurrent astronomical events, as… …   English World dictionary

  • Period — or periodic may refer to:Language and literature* Full stop, a punctuation mark indicating the end of a sentence or phrase * Periodic sentence, a sentence that is not grammatically complete until its end * The final book in Dennis Cooper s George …   Wikipedia

  • Period — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda «Period» Sencillo de Haruka Ayase Publicación 24 de marzo de 2006 Formato Maxi single …   Wikipedia Español

  • period — period, epoch, era, age, aeon all denote a portion or division of time; epoch and era can also denote an event regarded as the beginning of a portion or division of time. Period is the generic term, designating an extent of time of any length for …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • period — PERIÓD s.n. v. perioadă. Trimis de oprocopiuc, 13.03.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  PERIÓD s. v. menstruaţie. Trimis de siveco, 13.09.2007. Sursa: Sinonime  periód (fiziol.) s. n. (sil. ri od) Trimis de siveco, 10 …   Dicționar Român

  • period — perìod m DEFINICIJA 1. odsječak vremena [period srednjega vijeka]; doba, razdoblje 2. faza u razvoju, razdoblje koje je po čemu karakteristično [period nasilja] 3. fiz. (simbol T) vrijeme potrebno nekom oscilirajućem sustavu da izvrši jedan puni… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Period — Pe ri*od, v. i. To come to a period; to conclude. [Obs.] You may period upon this, that, etc. Felthman. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • period — I noun age, bout, continuance, course, diuturnity, duration, eon, epoch, era, hitch, interval, juncture, length of time, limited time, point, season, shift, span, spell, stage, stint, stretch, tenure, term, time, time interval, time stretch, tour …   Law dictionary

  • period — ► NOUN 1) a length or portion of time. 2) a distinct portion of time with particular characteristics. 3) a major division of geological time, forming part of an era. 4) a lesson in a school. 5) (also menstrual period) a monthly flow of blood and… …   English terms dictionary

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