1. Gagoots
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    Gagoots Member

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    complex dialog punctuation

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Gagoots, Jul 8, 2007.

    Complex issue:

    OK.
    I have a line of dialog where the person is directly quoting another person.
    I understand this to be
    " - for the person speaking
    ' for the quotes inside the quotes

    BUT...

    the person says: "does this ring a bell? '

    or should it be

    "does this ring a bell: '

    OR....

    "does this ring a bell?: '

    hmmm....
     
  2. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    Either of the two first ones should work, but DEFINITELY not the last one. Also, the 2 then 1 rule applies in America, but in England, it's ' THEN ".
     
  3. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Ivan is right, but just to clear up his last point:

    In England ' is used for speech, and " for quotes.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    colon wouldn't be used for dialog... but if it's a quoted written piece and the original has a colon, then it would be used...
     
  5. Gagoots
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    Gagoots Member

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    Thanks, guys.

    I guess the main question was that - if I come to a point inside dialog where the person is asking a question at a point where you would use a colon, do you use both...

    so now I see.

    thanks!
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...you wouldn't properly use a colon for dialog in any case, so i don't get what you're saying there... if you mean a person asks a question and then continues the dialog, this is how it could be done [i'm guessing at what you wanted]:

     
  7. Gagoots
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    Gagoots Member

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    You are exactly right. Thank-you!
     

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