An Oddity at the Chicago Style Q&A

When I’m stymied by a particular English-usage question and I can’t find an answer in my usual sources, I’ll consult the Chicago Style Q&A, an online resource of The Chicago Manual of Style. I was browsing the Q&A the other day—I’m waiting breathlessly for them to post an answer to a question I submitted—when I saw the following:

Q. Contracts often employ defined terms in quotes and parentheses, e.g., ABC Corp. (the “Seller”) shall sell ten widgets to XYZ Corp. (the “Buyer”). When drafting such a contract, I always put a period after the close parenthesis if it is the end of the sentence, such as in the above example. But it’s like listening to nails on a chalkboard to me to have a period essentially (ignoring the parenthetical) follow the period employed in an abbreviation. What do you recommend?

A. Yoga?

I concur that you’d have to be rather tightly wound to have a problem with the cited phenomenon. I’d be able to suggest to whoever submitted this question a slew of usages guaranteed, with greater justification, to have them chewing the carpet.

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.

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