Q. Is it correct to have the exclamation point or question mark immediately after the period in each of the following sentences? He said he’d be there at 5:30 a.m.! Is your name John Smith Jr.? I know that since at least 1993 CMOS has encouraged writers to avoid unnecessary commas (Is your name John Smith, Jr.? She works for Time, Inc.). However, there has not been a similar assault on periods. I am not complaining, but I wonder about the above sentences involving a period and punctuation immediately afterward.
A. It’s useful to distinguish punctuation that’s part of a word from punctuation that ends a sentence. A period that is part of a word (such as an abbreviation) cannot be replaced by any other punctuation besides a sentence-ending period. So yes, retain the question mark and exclamation mark, as you would a colon, semicolon, or comma.