Punctuation and elements [006]


Position of punctuation relative to element boundaries


The WWP’s encoding practice treats the position of punctuation relative to elements as significant. In general, the principle we follow is that punctuation should be encoded as part of the element to which it logically belongs. Specifically:

1. In cases where punctuation directly follows a tagged phrase-level element (for instance <persName>), the WWP places the punctuation outside of the element, immediately following the end-tag, unless the punctuation is clearly part of the element in question. This practice disregards the font of the punctuation in question, and we do not currently preserve the font of punctuation by highlighting it. For example:

    He hated <persName>Howdy Doody</>; <persName>Howdy</> hated him.

See also 058, Punctuation and Quotations.

2. Possessive names. We include the apostrophe and s at the end of possessive names within the <persName> (or whatever) element. We highlight the “’s” if it is in a different font from the name it’s attached to. The rationale is that a possessive is comparable to a genitive case (in fact, the “’s” is a contraction from an Old English genitive), and hence may be treated as if the “’s” is part of the name rather than being a separate word. See also 059, Punctuation and Font.

3. For treatment of periods at the end of abbreviations, see 076, Abbreviations.

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