On Nov 30, 2005, at 15:35, Matthew Smillie wrote:

> On Nov 30, 2005, at 22:02, Dave Howell wrote:
>
>> you can solve all "Mr./Dr./Ph.D." cases by the fact that if a word 
>> starts with a cap and ends with a period, it's not a sentence.
>
> I'm not sure that's a very good rule, Dave. There are two sentences 
> here.
>
> The above rule may catch titular abbreviations, but over-generalises 
> to produce a false negative in the above example.

I hadn't intended to provide a single magical rule that was perfect in 
isolation, after all. {chuckle}


"Ph. D." is not a sentence. But where do you break
	My name is Dave, Ph. D. Pleased to meet you.
vs.
	You need my Ph. D. friend Dave to help you.

I don't think having a list of abbreviations and titles will improve 
that situation much, although it's a lot more work and almost certain 
to be incomplete. Any/every rule will have failures; avoiding them is 
what takes you into that whole natural language high-octane engine 
situation.

However, if you also use the *other* "rule" I mentioned, then you don't 
have a problem. "Dave Howell" appears just a couple lines earlier, 
establishing "Dave" as a word that doesn't require a period. Therefore, 
it's more likely to be at the end of a sentence. The following word 
("There") can be found in a dictionary, and in a non-capitalized form, 
which means that its capitalization here following a dot strongly 
indicates that it's beginning a sentence.

The capital "P" of "Ph." is not preceded by a period either time, so 
it's not starting a sentence. After it, "friend" isn't capitalized, so 
it's not ending a sentence. But "Pleased" is, and dictionary says "not 
normally capitalized" so that's probably a sentence break.