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  1. victo

    victo Active Member

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    British English

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by victo, Feb 7, 2015.

    In British English, does the comma go outside the introductory quote ("I am disgusted",) because the original sentence is "I am disgusted with the amount of violence going on", not "I am disgusted, with the amount of violence going on"?

    Example - Is the sentence below punctuated correctly in BE?

    "I am disgusted", he said, "with the amount of violence going on."

    Is the sentence below correct too? (Comma outside - "I",)

    "I", he said, "will address the issue forthwith."
     
  2. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    No, it goes within in both cases.

    "I am disgusted," he said, "with the amount of violence going on."

    "I," he said, "will address the issue forthwith."
     
  3. victo

    victo Active Member

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    In British English?
     
  4. victo

    victo Active Member

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    Would the commas go outside the quotes in these two?

    The questions "Who?", " What?", "When?", " Where?" and "Why?" need to be answered in your report.

    When he called me a "schlimazel", I was offended.

    No suggestions for italics, please.
     
  5. Komposten

    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    When it's dialogue the comma always goes inside the quote, otherwise it goes outside.

    Dialogue: "I am disgusted," he said, "with the amount of violence going on."

    Other: When he called me a "schlimazel", I was offended.

    Both: "He said, and I quote, 'I don't want to see you again! Ever!'," Ms. Andersen said.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015
  6. Jack Asher

    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Those questions should not have any commas seperating them, or they shouldn't have question marks after each one.
     
  7. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    These examples are different. They are not dialogue. In the first case with all the interrogatives I would question the need for marks at all and they would not need the ? marks either, just commas. Quote marks used in this way indicate the idea of so called or known as or to indicate irony or sarcasm as to the word's use in the context.

    And I know you said no italics, and I'm not trying to be a schlemiel, but the fact is that if I did anything with schlimazel it would be to italicize it. But definitely no quote marks and it would be my lean to leave it in normal font.
     
  8. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Use of double quotes "like this", speech marks, indicate the author as American or creative writer of a 'certain age,' pre-digital, hew.
     
  9. Komposten

    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I use double quotes but I'm neither American nor pre-digital...
     
  10. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Perhaps you might consider doing the 'right thing' in the future?
     
  11. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I thought that British punctuation differed from American when the punctuation doesn't logically belong with the quote. By American standards, the final punctuation is nevertheless stuffed inside the quotes. In British punctuation, it's not.

    For example American punctuation would be:

    In the TV show Coupling, Steve referred to throw pillows as "pets for chairs."

    while British punctuation would be:

    In the TV show Coupling, Steve referred to throw pillows as "pets for chairs".

    I don't think that punctuation for dialogue is different between the two.

    I'd like to be corrected if I'm wrong, though.
     
    Komposten likes this.
  12. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    What is the point of the comma?

    The sentence reads just fine without it - unless you're terminally short of breath and need a pause in the middle - whereas it's nonsense to remove the comma'd sub-clause, when you're left with "In the TV show coupling."
     
  13. lustrousonion

    lustrousonion Contributing Member

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    A comma is used after a prepositional phrase if the phrase is at the beginning of a sentence.
     
  14. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Whilst the comparison is often made: that Americans use far more commas than English, here it is fine, otherwise one would have to reread to establish sense, to comprehend that the show wasn't called 'Coupling Steve.'

    Although an Anglo might hyphenate 'throw-pillows' or say scatter cushions.

    I think there's confusion with the OP's original point. I wouldn't punctuate like that, but I'm willing to learn. Only recently I mastered the use of capitals in opening dialogue, so:

    Mike returned with the dogs, 'Sit, you hounds,' and placed the leashes on the table.

    thas probably wrong, get off the forum quick, eats shoots & leaves.
     

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