1. Tyler Danann
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    Tyler Danann Active Member

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    Colon use within speechmarks

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Tyler Danann, Dec 19, 2014.

    Got a query on this dialogue:

    “Reyborse is a House Saken command officer: an Isier,” Oscilon explained.

    Is the : correct to be used or should I perhaps use the em dash instead?
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014
  2. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    How about simply:

    "Reyborse is a House Saken command officer, an Isier," Oscilon explained.

    ?
     
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  3. mad_hatter
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    mad_hatter Active Member

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    I agree with KaTrian.

    If you were to write this in a body of text, you may write 'Reyborse is a House Saken command officer; an Isier', implying that "an Isier" is another term for a "House Saken command officer". However, as you have it in dialogue, a simple comma will suffice, just to offer that slight pause between the two.
     
  4. Tyler Danann
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    Tyler Danann Active Member

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    Ok, sounds good commas work. I just thought I could have tried something more discerning and showy...
     
  5. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    Or, Oscilon explained, “Reyborse is a House Saken command officer ... an Isier.”

    Here the pausing effect of the ellipsis accents the wow of being an Isier.
     
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  6. The Cuckoo's Nest
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    The Cuckoo's Nest Member

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    A comma would probably be the most common usage. I've also seen a dash used in similar situations, and I like the above mentioned idea of using an ellipsis to create the effect of a dramatic pause.
     
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  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Showy Bad.
     
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  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Comma or em dash. The colon doesn't work there.
     

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