1. Maxitoutwriter
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    Maxitoutwriter Member

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    Does the period go inside the quotation marks when its a phrase or word?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Maxitoutwriter, Sep 3, 2014.

    For like American English?

    For example,

    The carnival is "coming up(.?)"(.?)

    Inside or outside?

    Thanks.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    It's inside for American English and outside for British English.
     
  3. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I always assumed that if content within quotation has a full stop then inside, and if quotation piece is just a part of a larger sentence, then outside.
    Bad examples but they illustrate the logic behind it.
     
  4. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Regardless of AE or BE, if it's part of the speech it's inside.

    He 'went postal' at the sight of the offending article.
    At the sight of the offending article, he 'went postal'.
    Leanne said, "I can't believe the newspaper said that he 'went postal'."

    I agree with you, @jazzabel apart from I would change them to single quotes to avoid confusing them with speech.
     
  5. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Disagree with @cutecat22. That's the rule for British English, and it's the rule that makes sense, but American English puts the punctuation inside the quotation marks.

    The usually reliable OWL is a bit vague on this, but they say "Put commas and periods within quotation marks, except when a parenthetical reference follows" at https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/577/03/ and their example at https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/577/02/ shows:

    The English word nuance comes from a Middle French word meaning "shades of color."​
    And I don't have CMOS on tap, but their Q&A at http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/qanda/data/faq/topics/Punctuation.html says:

    Q. Realizing that every style guide I have read states that periods always go inside quotation marks, I argue that, if a quote is only a part of a sentence, the period at the end applies to the entire sentence, and not just to the quoted part; therefore, it should be placed outside the closing quotation mark. Does this reasoning “hold any water” at all?

    A. Sure—but for style rules, unlike buckets, holding water isn’t always the main goal. Although the British agree with you and punctuate accordingly, the time-honored convention in American-style punctuation is to put the period inside the quotation marks.
    So this is a BE/AE difference - and on this one, BE makes way more sense!
     
  6. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Us Brits are known for our common sense! :)

    The English word nuance comes from a Middle French word meaning "shades of color." (if you are leaving the period inside the quotes, I really, really want to put another one outside the quotes to end the whole sentence and I feel like the closing quote marks are going to fall off the line!

    (Just realised how OCD that makes me sound ...)

    o_O
     
  7. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you're OCD, I'm right there with you!

    (We Canadians are known for choosing between US And UK as it suits us - in this case, the UK version wins, by far! But that peskily huge US market may not agree with us.)
     
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  8. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    My editor is in Canada at the moment!

    (OK, I'm not going to ask if you know her, I realise that would be like you asking me to say Hi to Bill Nighy the next time I see him. Incidentally, she (my editor) mailed me to say the Bill Nighy was actually on her flight and must be on his way to the Toronto film festival??

    Right, it's quarter to two in the morning over here (damn muse is keeping me up all night again) but I realise I'm talking mostly nonsense right now - think it might be time for sleep :unsure:
     
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  9. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that I've even seen that method referred to as the "logical" method--not as an adjective, but the actual identifying word. But my understanding is that most American standards put the period inside the quotes, even though that's illogical in many cases. I've also read that that's due to typesetting--that a little thing like a period at the end of the line is likely to fall off.

    Edited to add: That is, I read that metal type is how it got started, and we haven't gotten over it yet.
     
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  10. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Like how QWERTY was designed to prevent typewriters from jamming and we haven't yet (actually I have) gotten over it and switched to Dvorak? Interesting.

    When I write, if the period is not part of the quotation, then the period goes outside the quotation. I do this without giving second thought to style manuals or the differences between American English and British English. It is merely my natural inclination, and it makes sense when I think about it.

    It likely started coming naturally to me after I started programming. Programmers must be very deliberate about what they put inside or outside quotation marks, or else words can run together, punctuation can get messed up, etc.
     
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  11. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yep, yep. I'm also a programmer, and while I'm trying to train myself to the American standard, it's a strain every single time.
     

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