Quotes and punctuation

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Where do you put you periods/full stops? (pick one from each pair)

Inside, quoting speech. E.g.: She said, "Blah blah blah."
22
41%
Outside, quoting speech. E.g.: She said, "Blah blah blah".
5
9%
Inside, word in quotes. E.g.: The word is "pork."
5
9%
Outside, word in quotes. E.g.: The word is "pork".
22
41%
I just wanna see the results/
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 54

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Sizik
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Quotes and punctuation

Postby Sizik » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:49 pm UTC

Where do you put your punctuations?
she/they
gmalivuk wrote:
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Yes. And if wishes were horses, wishing wells would fill up very quickly with drowned horses.

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Iulus Cofield
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Re: Quotes and punctuation

Postby Iulus Cofield » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:16 pm UTC

I put it inside a quotation if it's part of the quotation and outside if it isn't. I punctuate outside of a scare quote. And I have too many opinions for the poll.

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diabolo
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Re: Quotes and punctuation

Postby diabolo » Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:27 am UTC

I wanted to check outside for words and both for speech because there was no option "always outside and inside if needed".
So I checked outside for both because it just seems wrong any other way. I mean, what if you were to substitute your quotation with something else?
She said "blah blah blah."
becomes
She said whatever
and the full stop is gone because it was inside. If you add the full stop at the end and you substitute back you get
She said "blah blah blah.".
which seems correct but looks weird (it reminds me of the emoticon in parentheses thing). I guess in this case we can omit the inside one...
but what if she wasn't saying something but asking, and you weren't stating it but wondering about it?
She said "blah blah blah[.]".
Did she say "blah blah blah[.]"?
She asked "blah blah blah?".
Did she ask "blah blah blah?"?

Can you remove anything in the last 2 cases? I'd say no but I write more code than prose and compilers don't care what your writing looks like or means but scream at you very loudly when your syntax isn't perfect, it may have twisted my mind. Can anyone enlighten me on this?

Derek
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Re: Quotes and punctuation

Postby Derek » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:02 am UTC

I prefer punctuation outside of the quotes for both, though I'm not always consistent. Of course if the punctuation is part of the quote, it goes inside.

obfpen
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Re: Quotes and punctuation

Postby obfpen » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:41 pm UTC

Count me as an "if it wasn't in the original, outside; otherwise, whatever's most perspicuous" writer - punctuation tends to be a matter of judgement, but putting anything into a quotation that didn't originally have it just isn't accurate.

diabolo wrote:what if she wasn't saying something but asking, and you weren't stating it but wondering about it?
She said "blah blah blah[.]".
Did she say "blah blah blah[.]"?
She asked "blah blah blah?".
Did she ask "blah blah blah?"?

Can you remove anything in the last 2 cases?

I'd say "yes." For me, good punctuation is about pointing the reader in the right direction, removing ambiguity, but not getting in the way unnecessarily. If I'm distracted by messy punctuation, then I'm not focused on the topic the punctuation was supposed to be helping me comprehend correctly.

In example 3, it's clear when I've reached the end of the sentence without the full stop, so I'd say it's redundant. In example 4, it's clear that both the framing and quoted sentences are questions, so either question mark could go. I'd keep the external one on the grounds that it's what would be required if the framing sentence were rephrased as a statement of surprise (5), in order to differentiate it from a simple statement.
1) She said "I'm going home now." - statement about a statement
2) Did she say "I'm going home now"? - question about a statement
4) Did she ask "Can I go home now"? - question about a question
3) She asked "Can I go home now?" - statement about a question
5) She asked "Can I go home now"? - questioning/surprised statement about a question


However, I suspect that most style guides would suggest that if you're spending too much time playing with combinations of punctuation, you're probably better off rewriting the sentence.
Has she asked if she could go home now?
"Can I go home now?" Is that how she asked if she could leave?


I'm not sure if that's enlightening, but it's the system I use.

andersontrott
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Re: Quotes and punctuation

Postby andersontrott » Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:37 am UTC

She said "Blah blah blah".
The word is"pork".
after ending the sentence you must put the full stop. that is a basic rule.

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Cecily
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Re: Quotes and punctuation

Postby Cecily » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:04 pm UTC

The crucial issue is whether you use American English or another English.

Brits, Australians, New Zealanders and many others use what is often, logically, called logical punctuation with quotations: we only put the punctuation inside the quotation marks if it is part of the quoted material (as with brackets). American tradition is to put punctuation inside regardless, though apparently, that is changing to some extent.

Here's an interesting (American) article about trends: http://www.slate.com/id/2293056
Cultivate discernment and know your audience; context is all.
Those are rules.
Most of the others are guidelines.

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AvatarIII
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Re: Quotes and punctuation

Postby AvatarIII » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:26 pm UTC

andersontrott wrote:She said "Blah blah blah".
The word is"pork".
after ending the sentence you must put the full stop. that is a basic rule.


i actually think the correct way to do it would be

She said "Blah blah blah.".
because the first full stop is ending the sentence inside the quote, the second is ending the sentence outside the quotes.
think of it this way
which is correct, if quoting a question?
She said "Blah blah blah?"
or
She said "Blah blah blah"?
obviously the first, the second is more like the quoter asking if she said "blah blah blah"

i voted inside for speech outside for single word


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