Punctuation: series before a main clause

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So I have an essay I'm doing and ended up writing a sentence which resulted in a personal grammar conundrum. I ended up writing a series as a fragment. No verb, just some nouns. There's a standard sentence after that that's related but I can't figure out a way to connect them that seems right. I don't want to put the fragment as a series connected to the previous sentence, leaving a fragment annoys me, and rewording would sacrific the flow the current wording has and perhaps a little meaning. Here's the actual piece:

 

 

"Doomsday is always looming. If one traces back until near the beginning of history it seems there is always one prophet or another hearkening to “Gather round!” beacuse the end is nigh. Revelation, Nostradamus, Y2K, 2012. ((What should go here?)) People seem to have a fascination with the end. "

 

And you can ignore errors, if there are any, in the first sentence. That will probably change.

 

 

TL;DR Should the transition between the 2nd and 3rd sentence above be a comma, semicolon, colon, period, dash, or something else?

2 answers


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I am sitting with my Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition, 2010) and cannot, for the life of me, find the discussion of "words, standing alone as sentences."  I know that it is acceptable because I do find instances where they are used as examples in Chicago. I also find where Chicago calls for a period to follow "word, standing alone."

 

Because I can't find anything that says you can't, I would punctuate it as follows:

 

Revelation. Nostradamus. Y2K. 2012. People seem to have a fascination with the end.

 

As an alternative, this might be a place for an em-dash.

 

Revelation, Nostradamus, Y2K, and 2012--people seem to have a fascination with the end.

 

Your second sentence requires a comma between history and it.

link comment edited May 13 '12 at 20:53 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow
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I don't mind your current construction, but if you wanted to get rid of the fragment, I'd recommend this punctuation:

 

Revelation, Nostradamus, Y2K, 2012: people seem to have a fascination with the end.

 

The only thing that bothers me is the fact that of the four items in your series, one of them (Nostradamus) doesn't belong, because it's a person, not an "end." Would you feel comfortable taking it out, or replacing it with another example that fits the others?

link comment answered May 14 '12 at 02:25 Actually Holly Expert

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