In names with initials and abbreviations, such as J. R. R. Tolkien, Mr. J. Cale, J. Edgar Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, should there be a space or not after the dots?
Also, can I omit the dots?

Per Johansson
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In names with initials and abbreviations, such as J. R. R. Tolkien, Mr. J. Cale, J. Edgar Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, should there be a space or not after the dots?

Yes, put a space after the period in an abbreviation.
Also, can I omit the dots?

Only for Harry S Truman.

Jack Gavin
In names with initials and abbreviations, such as J. R. ... should there be a space or not after the dots?

Yes, put a space after the period in an abbreviation.

Unless it's followed by another abbreviation, of course.
Also, can I omit the dots?

Only for Harry S Truman.

Zmadrafack, they're quite often omitted these days in BrE. Quite a few major publications omit them in their house style. I remember that the much-missed AUEer Brian J Goggin preferred that style, too, as do I see from a quick check Laura H Spira and R H Draney, apparently.

Ross Howard
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In names with initials and abbreviations, such as J. R. R. Tolkien, Mr. J. Cale, J. Edgar Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, should there be a space or not after the dots? Also, can I omit the dots?

Spacing after the periods (dots) is correct. Using periods in abbreviated names is correct, if one is using the full address. However, since many people are referred to by their initials as nicknames in dialog, I think the periods would be eliminated. Indeed, as in Peetee (PT>>P. T. Barnum) the names of the letters in some initialized names are often spelled out.

I expect the period will be lost completely for these abbreviations, as they are being eliminated in the Latin abbreviations: am (a.m.), etc.

I feel awkward using "period", and "dot", without asking here: Do you Brits use full-stop in every non-mathematical use?
I eschew them. (They're unnecessary and aesthetically unpleasing.) I usually keep the spaces though.
Mr A G Bailey
(answering euquiry abouyt spacing after abbreviations)
Indeed, as in Peetee (PT>>P. T. Barnum) the names of the letters in some initialized names are often spelled out. ... (a.m.), etc. I feel awkward using "period", and "dot", without asking here: Do youBrits use full-stop in every non-mathematical use?

The word "period" is not customarily used in this sense in BrE (in grammar contexts it means a long and intricate sentence with the main clause near the end), and many of us confine "full stop" to the dot at the end of a sentence. "Dot" is in general use when spelling out web-site addresses. I've also seen (but not heard) "full point" for various non-sentence-ending uses, and that seems proper enough. I don't know what the "full" implies, though, unless it means "fully down on the base-line" as opposed to the half-way-up-the-figure dot often preferred for the decimal point.

Alan Jones
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In names with initials and abbreviations, such as J. R. ... not after the dots? Also, can I omit the dots?

Spacing after the periods (dots) is correct. Using periods in abbreviated names is correct, if one is using the full ... (a.m.), etc. I feel awkward using "period", and "dot", without asking here: Do youBrits use full-stop in every non-mathematical use?

Using spaces after the periods in "J.R.R. Tolkien" and similar names, except for the one preceding the full word, seems old-fashioned to me. The Century Dictionary,* an American dictionary of 1895 at www.century-dictionary.com would have written such a name "J. R. R. Tolkien," and that seems almost as odd to me as putting a space before the question mark, which they also do.

At
http://www.bartleby.com/185 /
The American Language is presented as being by "H.L. Mencken," and that is generally how such names are presented in American English, in my experience. However, *The Columbia Encyclopedia,* 6th ed. at

http://www.bartleby.com/65/me/Mencken.html
gives the entry for Mencken as "Mencken, H. L." so some American still use a space in such a case.
"HL Mencken" and "JRR Tolkien" look odd to me.
If a period (full stop) is used after the initial representing a name and I use one in all instances and the initial is followed by a full name, then a space follows: "H. Allen Smith," "Raymond S. Wise."

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
"HL Mencken" and "JRR Tolkien" look odd to me.

And in certain fonts, "Al Bundy" ('A' followed by lower case 'L') looks a lot like "AI Bundy" ('A' followed by upper case 'I' (eye)).

Jack Gavin
Because it wasn't an abbreviation, I suppose?

Alec McKenzie
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