Sentence-final footnotes: before or after the period?
Thread poster: zabrowa

zabrowa
Local time: 07:37
Jan 4, 2009

Should the footnote appear before or after the period? Sorry, still no CMS handy. Thanks!

 

Kathryn Litherland  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:37
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
after! Jan 4, 2009

Footnote callouts should appear after terminal punctuation. If they fall in the middle of a sentence (CMS suggests you wait until the end of the clause at the very least, and preferable the end of the sentence), it should still follow any punctuation (such as a colon or semi-colon) except a dash, which the callout should precede.

 

zabrowa
Local time: 07:37
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks a lot, Kathryn Jan 4, 2009

I appreciate it!

 

Ken Cox  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:37
German to English
+ ...
depends on the language and your client's preferred style Jan 4, 2009

Most English-language publications place footnote markers after the terminal punctuation, but at least one UK publication (the name escapes me just now) places them before the punctuation.

Customary practice in German (and Russian, according to the Oxford Guide to Style) is before the terminal punctuation.

Other languages (and publications in other languages) will also have their preferred or customary practices.


 

Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:37
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Not in my experience Jan 4, 2009

Ken Cox wrote:
...
Customary practice in German is before the terminal punctuation.
...


According to my knowledge the sentence footnote should be placed after the punctuation sign to make sure the footnote will be understood as concerning the whole sentence. Otherwise it would be considered as concerning the word beside which it is placed.
IMHO of courseicon_smile.gif


 

Maria Diaconu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 08:37
English to Romanian
Depends on what it refers to Jan 4, 2009

If the footnote refers to the last word / phrase from that sentence, then the footnote should be inserted before the punctuation mark. If the footnote refers to the whole sentence, then I would insert it after the punctuation mark.
This is from my own experience - sorry, but I don't know any manual to refer you to.

P. S. I hadn't seen Jerzy's post before I wrote mine, so we agree on thaticon_smile.gif


 

Marina Aleyeva  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 08:37
English to Russian
+ ...
True, at least in Russian Jan 4, 2009

Ken Cox wrote:
Customary practice in German (and Russian, according to the Oxford Guide to Style) is before the terminal punctuation.


In Russian and Ukrainian, it usually goes before the period.


 

Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
CMS on line ... Jan 4, 2009

Kathryn Litherland wrote:

Footnote callouts should appear after terminal punctuation. If they fall in the middle of a sentence (CMS suggests you wait until the end of the clause at the very least, and preferable the end of the sentence), it should still follow any punctuation (such as a colon or semi-colon) except a dash, which the callout should precede.


I entirely agree with Kathryn (I'm assuming that since you mention CMS, it is the guide you want to follow and that you're working with US English). Other countries undoubtedly have other rules.

Why don't you subscribe to CMS on-line? It is so much easier to use than the book because you can search for things using a search engine. It's only $30 year and I use it almost every day!

Patricia


 

Alexander Chisholm  Identity Verified
Italian to English
+ ...
Perhaps not applicable in this specific case, but Jan 5, 2009

of use to anyone posing the same question regarding UK English..

This is taken from the most recent EU English Style Guide:

"Footnote and endnote references. Use your word processor’s automatic
footnote function so that if you alter the order of footnotes, they will be
renumbered automatically. Footnote/endnote references in text are usually
given as superscript numerals without brackets following punctuation.
However, to achieve uniformity across language versions, the Publications
Office places footnote references in brackets before punctuation (see Section
8.1 of the Interinstitutional Style Guide). Follow this practice when producing
or translating texts destined for the Publications Office."


 


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