PowerPoint question

Full stops1 at the end of bullet pointed text: yes or no?
I just realised that half of my slides have them, and half don’t. I went through and added punctuation to the lines that were missing it, went for a cup of tea, then came back and deleted all the full stops again.
The presentation has to be sent to my supervisor within the next 80 minutes…
1. Periods, if you’re in North America. Dots, wherever you are.

About Cath@VWXYNot?

"one of the sillier science bloggers [...] I thought I should give a warning to the more staid members of the community." - Bob O'Hara, December 2010
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21 Responses to PowerPoint question

  1. Richard P. Grant says:


  2. Cath Ennis says:

    Oh good, a unanimous decision. My boss can put his own full stops in if he wants them.
    Thanks mate!

  3. Richard P. Grant says:

    No worries Cath.
    My accountant will be in touch.

  4. Cath Ennis says:

    Do I need to find an earlier draft and count the dots?

  5. Neil Saunders says:

    Now, how about removing those bullet points.
    Just kidding 😉

  6. Richard P. Grant says:

    Nice one, Neil 🙂

  7. Pierre Lindenbaum says:
  8. Henry Gee says:

    No. (Oh, damn, Richard got there first). But at least you now have N=2.

  9. Richard P. Grant says:

    So that would be…




  10. Henry Gee says:

    Er…. yes. Don’t confuse me with statistics.

  11. Chris Surridge says:

    Very Wilde thread.
    Given that bullet points denote a list, shouldn’t it be a comma?

  12. Henry Gee says:

    If it’s a list, then you should use semicolons. Probably their only known, legitimate use.

  13. Richard P. Grant says:

    Oh ball cocks; semicolons have lots of legitimate uses.

  14. Chris Surridge says:

    I could live with semicolons.

  15. Katherine Haxton says:

    I don’t use full stops on bullet points and I’m a bit strict when it comes to powerpoint in general. People loath going through presentations with me because I am the uber-picky style freak. Be consistent throughout.
    It doesn’t matter whether you full stop or not, as long as you do it to every damn bullet point.

  16. Cath Ennis says:

    This turned into a much longer answer than I expected! It’s out of my hands now, missing full stops and all. Thanks all for your feedback!

  17. Chris Surridge says:

    Discussions about style are like that. My first day working as an editor I precipitated a 4 hour argument among the Nature sub-editors by asking about the correct capitalisation of Kerguelen Islands.

  18. Cath Ennis says:

    Oh my, that sounds fascinating. And you came back the next day?

  19. Cath Ennis says:

    I’ve just discovered the existence of the interrobang. Now I really really want to use it in the second draft of the presentation, currently in progress.

  20. Maxine Clarke says:

    Never mind islands, we don’t need anything fancy for four days of deliberation, just ask about the humble comma. (See Henry’s post on Eats, Shoots, and Leaves.)

  21. Cath Ennis says:

    I worked in a Job Centre one summer, taking calls from employers, typing their ads onto those little cards and putting them on the board. I quickly realised that one of our colleagues who helped match job seekers to jobs had, for years, been sending internal memos to my department saying “I fixed your advertisement for spelling and grammer” (sic). Amazingly, no-one else had picked up on his mistake (which I guess means that he had a very good point), and they were delighted when I sent him a memo back, pointing it out and copying my whole team.
    Oh the things you’ll dare to do when you’re in a summer job and don’t need references.

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