Daily Archives: Monday 15th June 2015

It’s a ‘Full Stop’. Period!

The Americans say ‘period’; the British say ‘full stop’.  So, which is it?  And what does this have to do with Computing?

The USA gets a lot of stick for ‘American English’ (AE) and it’s fundamentally unfair.  Both AE and BE (‘British English’) have their origins in multiple phases of British history over the past few hundred years and both have evolved and expanded since.  Both are very different from the language of the UK in the 17th and 18th centuries and there’s even some argument for saying that AE is a closer match than BE in that it’s stayed truer to the original principles.  Bill Bryson is very worth reading on this.  In fact, general comparison is almost impossible but a more focused approach might yield something useful, so let’s try …
Take the ‘.’ character used by both versions of English at the end of a sentence.  What is it?  Is it a ‘full stop’ (BE) or a ‘period’ (AE)?  Surely, it’s just a matter of taste?  There can’t be a right or wrong, can there?  Well, let’s see …
And here comes the Computer Science: more particularly, the programming …

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