"sub." vs "sub"

Back again. Another small but significant issue is the placement of a period (full stop?) after “sub.” or “dim.” I always prefer to not have the period, just as one often doesn’t see a period after “pizz,” it’s superfluous. I looked in the engraving options but don’t see it–do I just have to add as text at this point?



In general Dorico seems to follow Gould for notation practices, and Gould doesn’t appear to consider the possibility that the periods optional.

Certainly some respected UK English style guides are less in favour of periods than most USA style guides, but music notation isn’t necessarily the same as written English in general.

I remember a rule : if the last letter of the abbreviation is the last letter of the abbreviated word, there is no period. In every other case, there is a period.

Marc, I’ve learned about this rule first time on this forum and found it to be an interesting aspect of the English language.
There is no such rule in German.

…I’ve never known this to be a rule in English.

I’ve seen it somewhere in in print in relation to instrument name abbreviations in scores (e.g. Cl. has a period, but Pno does not), but I don’t think it is a general style rule about abbreviations.

The Oxford University style guide says pretty much there should be no periods for any abbreviations, but personally I don’t like ie or eg - though the OU guide gives them as specific examples! USA style guides are the opposite extreme and insist on another punctuation character after the periods since they are not the end of a sentence - i.e., like this.

Some abbreviations have lost the period in the UK - e.g. personal titles like “Mr,” “Ms,” “Mrs,” “Dr,” etc are now more common without a period.

There’s the Oxford rule, which I believe Daniel has stated was the inspiration for the default behavior in Dorico, but there is also variation (or disagreements!) within a language, as well as different criteria. Going back to another discussion held not too long ago here, Durand is also getting rid of all periods in abbreviations, for example. I like very much that Dorico forces the user to be consistent; however, the criteria that regulates that consistency should be up to the user.

I guess it would be brave of Durand to contradict what the Académie française has to say on the subject :slight_smile:

My wife is a professional subeditor and she tells me that modern publishing conventions eschew the extra periods as they are deemed ‘too fussy’, hence ‘eg’ rather than the traditional ‘e.g.’. However, this is in relation to press and book publishing - I suspect the conventions for music publishing may be more likely to follow the traditional conventions.

I’ll maintain that to me and in my teaching the period is quite unnecessary as words like “rit,” “dim,” and “sub” all have their own implied meaning as symbols as much as text.

But as LSalgueiro says, it should be left up to the user and should be an option.

I’m sticking with my trusty copy of “Hart’s Rules for Compositors and Readers at the University Press, Oxford” (39th edition), which says full points for all abbreviations (naturally, with a list of exceptions)!

The dot after “accel.” “dim.” , “rit.” etc. serves a very useful function in that it conveys that the symbol is complete in itself and that no “–er–an—do” “–in–u--en–do” etc. will follow.

In general, I think that distinguishing abbreviations from whole words is not being fussy; it is being clear.

FWIW, the rule I was referring to is a rule that rules in French typography. I mean, real typography. Notice that almost no score in french really follow the rules in French typography (like non-breaking narrow spaces before !?«») ; it looks as though music editions do not respond to those rules… (except mine, of course!)

“… and that no innuendo will follow.” Phew! :stuck_out_tongue:

Despite the fact that many scores are gorgeous in themselves, music was never a good place for good design…!

We can agree to disagree, then. When I want a “Ritenuto,” for instance, that’s what I’ll write, and whether or not a “erdando” follows does not materially affect the music (“Rit” is universally accepted as “Ritard” or “Ritardando” and the period remains superfluous).

But back to my initial point, “sub” really needs no further clarification (the “Ito” and the period are both superfluous). I have no truck with anyone that uses it otherwise of course, but want the option to have my music engraved as I like.

Maybe just me, but I would like these things to just appear as you write it in the popover.

Fair enough, but people who are going to read and play it might want to have an input into how it looks, as well.

(That type of remark does sometimes get a response like “The only two people in the world who do play it are quite happy with it just as it is”… well, you can’t please everybody all the time.)

Maybe the guy who made a music theater arrangement of a song in F major (which Steve Parker attached to a recent thread here) had a deep and compelling reason why all the Cs in the score were written as B sharps … but sometimes protecting people from themselves is a useful strategy, if only to stop people blaming the software for perversity, instead of the user :wink:

This would be good to get to, also, in a global way: as Steve Parker says above “I would like these things to just appear as you write it in the popover.”

I’m sorry that Mr. Tuley has an issue with this and suggests that performers would care–much less ask for input–about a notation issue as small as whether or not there’s a period at the end of “sub.” Of course it’s entirely different than writing B#s in F major, since that’s an objective error, and this issue with the period is a preference (and besides, if that composer wishes to write B#s for some reason, they should be able to do it!)

The whole thing speaks to my general concerns about Dorico that it forces one to adhere to its notation conventions. I’m sure there are various guides to this, but ultimately one’s notation program should do what one wants it to do, and not be locked into what Durand, Faber, Garner Read, Gold, say… For all of its foibles (and it’s getting better by learning from Dorico) Sibelius offers much more freedom.

It’s fun arguing about notation, in any case, but again would be good to allow for whatever is typed in the popover to appear in the score.

I don’t have “an issue” with what you write at all. Since I’m never likely to be asked to play it, I don’t mind if you write your music in green ink on yellow paper with the staves sloping at 45 degrees, if you think that is a good idea.

I just find it endlessly amusing that some people insist on doing things differently for no reason.