1. lameri
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    lameri Senior Member

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    Comma after end of quote if it's not end of sentence?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by lameri, Jun 6, 2011.

    So here, is there comma after "No"?

    You would get upset if Dizzy found Rolley, so the game really was to have Rolley look around like crazy saying, “Are you there? No… What about there? No,” for as long as possible.

    I would tend to say no and the Blue Book (rule 1) supports that:
    http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/quotes.asp
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's correct to have it there, but what follows it makes no sense... how could someone be saying those exact words 'for as long as possible'?...

    and even if that is what you mean, it makes no sense putting it at the end, instead of like this:

    you'll notice i replaced the ellipsis with a ? which makes more sense... as does the ? after the second 'no'... i'd also advise changing the 'there's to 'here's since he'd be at the place he's referring to, wouldn't he?
     
  3. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    I would say to use ellipses to be consistent with the other, "No". As for a comma, why would you think that one belongs there?
     
  4. Glimpse
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    Glimpse Member

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    To answer the question at hand: no. Since this isn't really formal writing, what you want to do is emulate the tone of voice being used in the dialogue itself. As such, the only way you can do this without delving into dialogue tags and risking wordiness is to use punctuation. Hence, a comma by itself at the end of that sentence merely denotes that the dialogue ends, though not in any particular tone, which is not what you're wanting. What you want is to either have the speaker trail off by use of ellipses (as in the first 'no'), or to have the speaker end on a questioning note by use of a question mark.

    In ordinary circumstances, if there isn't a significant way the sentence is supposed to read, then you'd have a comma there, since, as is the general rule of thumb when it comes to dialogue, the sentence hasn't ended.

    Eg:
    Note that since the tone isn't questioning or anything of the sort, the dialogue ends with a comma.

    Inversely:
    ...is a question. So regardless, a question mark is needed.
     
  5. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Are you there? No," he said, looking around a corner.

    When dialogue attribution comes after, you use a comma.

    "Are you there? No," he said, looking around, and then added, "What about there! No..."
     
  6. Gothic Vampire Queen
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    Gothic Vampire Queen Member

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    *Wonders too* :confused:
     
  7. SteamWolf
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    SteamWolf Senior Member

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    Here's my interperetation:
    If the spoken sentence continues after the descriptive part, then yes the comma would be within the inverted commas. If the comma is not related to the spoken sentence, then it should be outside the inverted commas.

    Examples:
    "Are you there? No," he said, looking around, and then added, "What about there! No..."
    (though IMHO it's redundant and you lose nothing by dropping it anyway) and also

    Bob rushed into the room "He's dead! Dead I tell you!"
    Mark looked at him with one eyebrow raised.
    "How do you know" he said, raising the other eyebrow "did you check properly?"
    Bob nodded enthusiastically "Oh yes, I checked his pulse! Also, I poked him with a stick."
    _______________

    Perhaps I'm wrong, but this is how I do it. I figure even if it's not right, it makes it easy to read.
     
  8. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    ... That is extremely hard to read. Not only that, but your punctuation is a little bit atrocious.

    Since "Bob rushed into the room" is not dialogue attribution, you need a period. You also need a comma after the second "dead" because "I tell you" is the main clause.
    "How do you know?" is a question. You ask questions. "Did" needs a capital 'D' because the dialogue attribution and subsequent clause should be the end of the sentence.

    Just because you have a person doing an action in a sentence, it doesn't mean that you can tack on dialogue and say it's right or easier to read.

    There are rules to punctuation.
     
  9. SteamWolf
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    SteamWolf Senior Member

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    :D
    Oh well...
     
  10. SteamWolf
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    SteamWolf Senior Member

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    Except you have broken his dialogue into two separate sentences, whereas my intention was to show that it was one sentence with a concurrent action.

    I'm not saying you're wrong (heck, I haven't studied English since high school, and that was a very long time ago), just that the rush to apply correct punctuation is altering the intention of the example. I too am happy to learn, as it's my main reason for joining up here.
    So, to have the dialogue as one sentence broken by a concurrent action, what is the correct method of punctuation?
     
  11. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    It was necessary to do so. Your examples were grammatically incorrect.

    It's not just punctuation. You need to use a comma, but you can't just use that for anything.

    "She's a bitch," he said, "Like, a bitch for real."

    Note that the "he said" part can be shared by either piece of dialogue.

    "She's a bitch," he said. OR He said, "Like, a bitch for real."

    In a basic example like that, it's the shared dialogue attribution that makes it possible to join them together, given that it's the same speaker.

    From my current piece: “Tell me,” says Saral, “What is the state of your problem as of now?” The "says Saral" provides a hesitation that is necessary for the dialogue. If you said it out loud, you'd have a hesitation after, "Tell me."
     
  12. SteamWolf
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    SteamWolf Senior Member

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    Except that now where you have:
    "She's a bitch," he said, "Like, a bitch for real."
    if we strip out the descriptive and leave only the dialogue:
    "She's a bitch, Like, a bitch for real."
    Now you have a capital letter in the middle of the sentence. To me that comma after "bitch" should either be a period, or "Like" should be in lower case. As it sits there it's neither a continuation of the same sentence nor two separate sentences.
    To me this doesn't look right and makes it hard to follow.

    One thing we do seem to agree on though is if punctuation is part of the spoken sentence, then it is within the quotes. Yes?
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It doesn't make a lot of sense to insert a dialogue tag where there isn't a natural pause. I cannot see much purpose in inserting a tag where there wouldn't at least be a comma if the tag were omitted.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    same here...
     
  15. SteamWolf
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    SteamWolf Senior Member

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    Ahah. Found it. To clarify:

    ***********

    If a punctuation is part of the quotation, it should be placed inside the quotation mark:

    He shouted, 'Stop, thief!', but the robber got away.
    'Am I my brother's keeper?' he asked.

    If the punctuation mark relates to the sentence rather than the quotation, it should be placed outside the quotation mark:
    The girl said, 'I wish you would keep quiet'. Her brother took no notice.
    'Flight 60 is now boarding', 'Flight 19 from Brisbane has just landed' and 'Will Mr peter Ho please come to the information counter' were the three announcements he heard.

    If the whole of a printed sentence or sentences is a quotation, the full stop should be placed inside the closing quotation mark:
    'The history of printing is in large measure the history of the title page.'
    'We are waiting for the long-promised invasion. So are the fishes.'

    ************
    From the Government Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers, 5th edition (sans any transcription cock-ups).

    I've learned something today. :)
     
  16. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    You are taking that way too rigidly. When you modify a sentence, sometimes you need to modify the punctuation. So no, you don't have a capital letter in the middle of a sentence.

    This. Seriously, this. Q. F. ****ing. T.

    Different grammars are used differently, and you can use personal preference for things like this.

    "He shouted, 'Stop, thief!', but the robber got away." <-- I'd call that correct, by my preference.

    "The girl said, 'I wish you would keep quiet'. Her brother took no notice." <-- I'd call that weird. I'd put the period within the dialogue.
     
  17. SteamWolf
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    SteamWolf Senior Member

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    It's from a government issued guideline. Unless you want to re-write the guideline and push it through parliament, I think I'll refer to it when needed. I picked a few key paragraphs from it in an attempt to be helpful, rather than print the entire chapter and be smug.

    I seem to really be pushing your buttons today, but let me be clear that it's not my intention to come here just to annoy you. I came here to simply try and be helpful where I can, and gain some learning and interest of my own.
     
  18. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just because it's government-issued, it doesn't make it correct. I repeat: different grammars are used differently. There are a few different grammars in the English language, each with the same basis and guidelines, all with different little quirks about them. I'll also point you to the keyword: guideline. You don't have to take it so seriously. I especially wouldn't take it seriously because it's "government".

    I'm sorry if it seems like that. Really, I thought it came across as really really smartassy of you when you were on about me having a capital letter in the middle of a sentence. I don't mean to cause offence, but that made you look either like a rude smartass, or someone who just has no clue. I tried to ignore either of those implications when I replied.

    I apologise if I'm coming across as being rude to you in my replies. It's not my intention. I'm only trying to impart my own knowledge (or opinion/preference, which I have with good reason).
     
  19. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    It makes perfect sense to me. The phrase (or variants on it) are repeated ad nauseam.
     
  20. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Really, what is the reading level around here? The punctuation was a bit off, as you say, but even with the punctuation as it was it was really easy to read.
     
  21. SteamWolf
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    SteamWolf Senior Member

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    Well, it was a reply to what I percieved to be the same response from you, but it was what I thought to be a valid question.
    Believe me, if I wanted to be smartarsey or rude there would be no ambiguity about it :p
    This has all become very petty, so I for one will be moving on from here.

    /
     

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