Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    1
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Mr, Mrs and St - Full stop or no full stop in British English

    [Physics teacher, not an English teacher]

    May I relate a problem I just had trying to book a train ticket from St.Albans City station in the UK. The reason I think it is important is that I have just learned that the city in which I was born and that I have always referred to in writing as "St. Albans" is supposed to be written "St Albans" without the full stop (or period). I searched extensively and found threads on this site that contained correct and incorrect advice in contradiction. These threads are now long since closed. My Chinese partner instantly asked me about the correct form of Mr, Mrs and Ms. Again, I found a mixture of correct and incorrect advice on this site. Again, I learned there should not be a full stop. It is a lesson for all in the dangers of thinking you know your own language, even if you are an expert.

    Firstly, the two well known websites from which I tried to buy the train ticket had it correct. In British English, I now know, it is considered correct to omit the full stop for words that are contractions ending in the same letter as they would unabbreviated. Hence, Mr, Mrs, Dr and St are correct, as is Ltd for Limited, without the full stop. Words that have lost letters from their end do have the full stop. Hence, Abbr., co., etc. and M.P. all have the full stops. How come I didn't know that?

    I abandoned the first website after it repeatedly rejected my typing of "St. Albans City" and "St.Albans City" both as an 'invalid station'. The other site also rejected "St. Albans City" but did suggest "St Albans City" after I typed "St.Albans City". Apparently, the space was also causing a problem.

    Anyhow, it appears I had it wrong and so did one or two of your experts.

    PS I too checked the St Albans City Council website and found many documents on it that also used the full stop, but not on the main pages. Wikipedia is very consistent in not using the dot, but aboutbritain.com uses the dot throughout.

    May be the rule is: do it your own way as long as you make sense to everyone else and you don't want to buy a train ticket online.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,087
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Mr, Mrs and St - Full stop or no full stop in British English

    The problem with an online database might be the full-stop, which it may try to interpret as a dot in an internet address.

  3. #3
    bertietheblue is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    577
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Mr, Mrs and St - Full stop or no full stop in British English

    The rule is: there is no rule (at least in BrEng).

    Take the law firm I work for: 'etc.', 'i.e.' and 'etc.' were the official style until quite recently, but now the stop's been dropped.

    I think, though, that the trend is away fom full-stops in BrEng. In AmEng, however, I think full-stops are more common, and are the norm in abbreviations of titles, eg 'Mr.' and 'Dr.'.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,087
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Mr, Mrs and St - Full stop or no full stop in British English

    I was brought up with the last-letter rule for Mr/Dr/Prof. but where things are clear, the tendency towards dropping stops makes sense to me- I can't see that etc. is any better than etc without it.

Similar Threads

  1. Is full stop needed?
    By Tan Elaine in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 23-Sep-2008, 05:54
  2. Please clarify my issue with full stop.
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-Feb-2008, 11:12
  3. the full stop in your signature
    By jaapnoorman@xs4all.nl in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28-Jan-2008, 23:37
  4. full stop
    By blouen in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 07-Jul-2007, 04:36
  5. Use of the full stop/period
    By Journey in forum CVs, Resumes and Applications
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 21-Oct-2006, 13:06

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •