1. jakeybum
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    jakeybum Member

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    Asymmetrical punctuation?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by jakeybum, Aug 16, 2015.

    The AP Stylebook says no comma after an exclamation point, because the ending quote marks function as a first comma. (????) They, along with Chicago, are vehemently opposed to a comma being inserted after a ! and ? Have you ever heard of this?

    "Mamma Mia!" her favorite play, was on Broadway.

    Although the author doesn't supply all the answers to the question "Am I a survivor?" he does provide plenty of food for thought. (No commas whatsoever here?)

    Does this look right to you?
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
  2. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not sure about normal quotes like in your examples but in dialogue there definitely shouldn't be a comma. Examples:
    • "Hi!" she said.
    • "Would you please help me here?" Adam asked.
     
  3. No-Name Slob
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    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    The above examples you gave look correct to me, yes.
     
  4. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    With the exception of a question-come-exclamation, illustrated as "What the hell are you doing!?" I don't think I've ever seen the use of successive punctuation marks.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
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  5. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Those examples are fine. Commas are pretty overused in most writing, though I'm definitely no exception to that.
     
  6. jakeybum
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    jakeybum Member

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    May I ask another, please? Do you agree with the way all of these are punctuated, paying close attention to the omission of first or second commas? Good to all?

    When Sandy screamed "Help!" her neighbor called 911. (Okay without any commas?)

    When Doris asked "Where's the nearest train station?" the old man pointed across the street. (Okay without any commas?)

    She asked, "You did what?" trying to make him feel guilty.

    She shouted, "Come back!" as if he were finally ready to listen to reason.

    The Smiths' "How Soon Is Now" first released in 1984, remains the band's biggest hit.

    The Smiths' biggest hit, "How Soon Is Now?" was first released in 1984.

    "Can You Be a Pornstar?" a reality show on adult pay-per-view cable channels, was very successful.

    Though he's Google-adept, as he proves when he's playing "Gotcha!" one does wonder what Mr. Peck knows.

    "Help!" one of the Fab Four's greatest hits, peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

    Thanks.

    Sincerely,

    Jake
     
  7. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    The only ones I would question here are the titles of songs and TV shows. I think putting such things in quotes is very old fashioned now. Far more common to see these in italics (with no quotes, allowing the proper use of commas).

    The Smiths' How Soon Is Now, first released in 1984, remains the band's biggest hit.

    The Smiths' biggest hit, How Soon Is Now? was first released in 1984.

    Can You Be a Pornstar? a reality show on adult pay-per-view cable channels, was very successful.

    Though he's Google-adept, as he proves when he's playing Gotcha! one does wonder what Mr. Peck knows.

    Help! one of the Fab Four's greatest hits, peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
     
  8. jakeybum
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    jakeybum Member

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    Thank you.
     
  9. jakeybum
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    jakeybum Member

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    If I were to leave the original examples punctuated as they are (with quote marks), do you see a problem with any of them?

    Sincerely,

    jakeybum
     
  10. jakeybum
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    jakeybum Member

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    How's this one with one comma? Look okay?

    "Teacher!" yelled Mark. "Johnny took my toy! I had it first—he's a very mean boy."
     
  11. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    In addition to what Our Jud said:

    The comma after shouted shouldn't be there.

    Looks fine to me without any commas. :)
     
  12. Midge23
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    Midge23 Member

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    I think the comma after 'shouted' is correct:

    • If direct speech comes after the information about who is speaking, you should use a comma to introducethe piece of speech, placed before the first inverted comma:
    Steve replied, ‘No problem.’

    ‘Thinking back,’ she said, ‘he didn’t expect to win.’

    Above from Oxford Dictionaries.
     
  13. jakeybum
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    jakeybum Member

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    Thank you, Midge23.

    Mike shouted, "Be careful!" but he wasn't sure if Martha heard him.

    Luis asked, "Why did she do that?" and he wondered if she would misbehave again.


    Sincerely,

    Jake
     
  14. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I stand corrected!

    I would rearrange the sentence to take out the need for it though, because it doesn't flow right for me as a reader (i.e. "Come back!" she shouted, as if he were finally ready to listen to reason.)
     

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