1. Punctuate THIS!
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    Punctuate THIS! Member

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    ellipsis and conjunction

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Punctuate THIS!, Sep 22, 2009.

    If a character starts a quote in the "middle of a sentence" (beginning with an ellipsis of course), does "that" sentence have to begin with a capital letter?

    ". . . taking me where-ever I wanted to go," mike ended his story.
     
  2. Mister Micawber
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    Mister Micawber Member

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    It would look odd to me.

    ('Wherever' is one word and 'Mike' is capitalized, however)
     
  3. witch wyzwurd
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    witch wyzwurd Contributing Member

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    I'd say yes.

    "To be or not to be."

    "...Or not to be," John said.

    I wonder if the quote is outside the scope of the rest of the story, meaning that the first part of the quote is never listed, if parentheses would be used to fill the reader in on what the author intends...

    (To be) "or not to be," John said. "That is the question."
     
  4. Punctuate THIS!
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    No, the first part is listed, but inturrupted. The character then goes back to finish the sentence. So the quote in question has already been started and already consists of a captial letter to signify that.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    definitely no capital, if it's not the beginning of a sentence...

    that's incorrect... if you dropped the ellipsis, it would be ok, since it could be a fragment john is saying as a sentence, and not the continuation of another's interrupted speech...

    but if it is the continuation, then the capital 'o' must be lower case...
     
  6. witch wyzwurd
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    witch wyzwurd Contributing Member

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    By your example it's too hard to figure out how the full sentence looks. I'm not sure if the character using the part-quote has dialogue before it or not. You should list the whole passage to which your example belongs or else it's too difficult to discern what is proper or not.

    I say yes, because sentences must begin with a capital letter.

    But if you mean:

    Mary exclaimed, "To be—"
    John said, "or not to be."

    Then it wouldn't be capitalized.
     
  7. Punctuate THIS!
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    Punctuate THIS! Member

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    Sorry. I guess i thought it was more common than that. But the sentence was only briefly interrupted. The beginning of the sentence was the beginning of the paragraph, so i think it would be easy to see who was talking and the quote was being finished.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, so as i noted, the continuation should not be capitalized...
     
  9. witch wyzwurd
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    witch wyzwurd Contributing Member

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    I don't get why you just don't list the whole sentence and how it fits into the paragraph.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    as he stated, because he wants to show something or someone interrupting his sentence and then have him complete it... it's a perfectly ok bit of 'styling' and can be more effective than the whole thing being uninterrupted, if the interruption is there for some good reason...
     
  11. witch wyzwurd
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    witch wyzwurd Contributing Member

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    No. I mean. Show us his whole sentence. Not just the part of the half-quote. I want to see how this part-quote fits in with the sentence that it's a part of and the sentences nearby.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ok... i'd like to see that, too...

    there's another problem with the original line:

    'mike ended his story' isn't a dialog tag, so it can't follow the line of dialog, after a comma, unless it's reworded something like 'said Mike, ending his story.'
     

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