1. C.O.D.
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    C.O.D. New Member

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    Correct punctuation?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by C.O.D., Aug 30, 2007.

    When you are writing dialogue, and you end with a period, exclamation point, or question mark rather than a comma, are there two spaces or one space between the quotation mark and the next word?

    I've tried to look this up in a book whenever I need it, but I simply can't find it!

    ~COD
     
  2. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    As far as my knowledge goes, a single space.
     
  3. xxkozxx
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    xxkozxx Active Member

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    Same rules apply as the comma rule.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you end the quotation with a period, the following word begins a new sentence, so there should be two spaces and the next word is capitalized.

    "Follow me, Sharon." He led the way down the dim corridor.

    If you end the quotation with a comma, the words that follow are part of the same sentence, and you use only a single space, and the following word is NOT capitalized:

    "Don't make a sound," he warned.

    If you end the quotation with a question mark or exclamation point, the following word may begin a new sentence or not. If it qualifies the quote as a continuation of the same sentence, you do not capitalize the following word, and use a single space:

    "You must be kidding!" he exclaimed incredulously.

    But if the following word begins a new thought, Capitalize the next word and use two spaces:

    "Is that weapon loaded?" Without waiting for the answer, he turned and headed for the door.

    (The posting display doesn't preserve spacing, so you won't see single or double spacing here. Just remember, if the text to follow begins a new sentence, use two spaces and capitalize the next word. Otherwise, don't capitalize unless other capitalization rules apply, and use a single space.)
     
  5. xxkozxx
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    xxkozxx Active Member

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    Technically, you can have either one space or two spaces after a period. Either are grammatically correct.
     
  6. Weaselword
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    Weaselword Banned

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    The rule with old-fashioned typewriters was to type two spaces after a full stop. On computers that use proportionally-spaced fonts, you're only supposed to use one, but for me the habit of tapping the space bar twice is too entrenched to get rid of.

    If formatting a manuscript in Times New Roman, I literally have to use the find/replace tool in Word to turn the double-spaces into single ones. :)
     
  7. xxkozxx
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    xxkozxx Active Member

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    As referenced in this article:

    http://desktoppub.about.com/cs/typespacing/a/onetwospaces.htm

    You are correct. :)

    Even when I was typing on a typewriter I was too lazy to put two spaces in so I started with the single space habit early on, lol.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I was also typewriter trained, back when computers were only found in very large rooms :)

    It does appear that the emerging standard is always to use a single space between sentences, unless you are using monospaced fonts. For creative writing, you can pretty much assume ant publication would be in a proportional font.

    This reference is from the Gregg Reference Manual online, which I consider fairly authoritative:
    http://www.mhhe.com/ps/buscomm/grm/faqs/index.html
     
  9. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    And then when you justify your margains on a document, it throws everything off anyway.

    I remember back in school, learning how to justify margains for a report manually.

    That was fun.
     
  10. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Many publishers, especially those of short fiction but also in novel length, prefer one space only. Saves space, thus potentially fewer pages for a given work.

    As was indicated by Weaselword, if you do double spaces, out of habit or otherwise, the find and replace option works well.

    Terry
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    rr... why on earth would you justify margins if not actually printing a flyer or newsletter?... i know of no 'report' for school or anywhere else that calls for it...

    i'm with cog on the double space between sentences, for two reasons...

    1. i'm old and go back way before computers were even dreamt of...

    2. i find it's still easier to read mss that way, proportional fonts notwithstanding...
     
  12. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    I first learned to justify margins on the school paper, way back when the school paper was printed on a memiograph machine. Later, I did it in the corporate world for typing prospectuses, proposals. I did it for articles to get a clearer idea of how many column inches I was using.

    "There are more things in heaven and earth. . . "
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that's a relief!... i thought you were saying some teacher made you do it for reports or whatever...

    of course it's done when actually preparing columns and flyers and such for printing, but never should be for mss to be submitted to editors as i guess you know...
     

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