1. elious ranhale
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    elious ranhale New Member

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    I'm confused and cant find the answer...

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by elious ranhale, Jan 30, 2012.

    When you quote what a person says, do you indent the quote like you would at the beginning of a paragraph? Example:
    "Yada yada yada".
    Or
    "Yada yada yada".
    Also, does the period go inside the quotations or outside? What about a comma when explaining who and how it was said, after the quote is finished? Example:
    "Yada yada yada," said the man standing by the door.
     
  2. elious ranhale
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    elious ranhale New Member

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    The second "yada yada yada" was supposed to be indented! I don't know what happened.
     
  3. jc.
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    jc. Contributing Member

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    If the quotation starts its own paragraph, then yes it should be indented.

    The comma goes inside.
     
  4. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    Yes, jc is correct. Inside and yes to the indent.

    You always put periods and commas inside quotation marks.
     
  5. Amphigory
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    Amphigory Member

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    In dialogue and in most other cases, yes — you'll put the punctuation inside. But not always always:

    You have to look at what is being punctuated. In these examples, it's not the quotation but the rest of the surrounding sentence that requires the punctuation, and therefore it goes on the outside of the quotes. Otherwise, yes — punctuation inside the quotation marks.

    Also, now that I've typed it so many times, I'm convinced "punctuation" is one of the silliest-sounding words ever! :D
     
  6. Ziggy Stardust
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    Ziggy Stardust Active Member

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    American English always puts comma's and periods inside the quotations.

    British English can put it inside or outside depending on the situation, or even just the preference of the writer, editor or publisher. Just be consistent and logical.

    And yes you should indent.
     
  7. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    British English should always put the punctuation outside the inverted commas if it is relating to the sentence as a whole, not the quotation. The only punctuation inside the inverted commas is that relating to the quotation itself. Simple and logical, really--but difficult to typeset. Hence the more recent American style.

    Yes, indent but don't manually do 5 spaces every time, set the tabs at the top of the document to start every new paragraph about 1cm in.
     
  8. Ziggy Stardust
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    Ziggy Stardust Active Member

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    I've seen British publications that use the American convention (particularly novels), and more American's seem to be using the British convention. So... I really don't think it matters, as long as you're consistent.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't see any successfully published american authors using british comma/period placement, but i do see a lot of british authors using the american rule...

    indents should be .5" for mss... in published material they are often smaller, but for any material you are planning to submit to publishers, they should be a full half-inch... so always go by your page ruler, not by the old '5 letter spaces' rule of long-gone typewriter days... unless, of course, you still write on a smith-corona!
     
  10. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^^ Even though the '5 letter spaces' looks archaic, it's often given in guidelines, and people misunderstand it. Also, outside the US everything is metric, so: 1cm!
     
  11. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I always thought that whatever is inside the quotation marks must be part of the original text being quoted. For example,

    1) Do you like the Shakespeare speech that begins "Friends, Romans, countrymen"?

    2) Do you like the Shakespeare speech that begins "Friends, Romans, countrymen?"

    Version 1 is preferable, because the question mark is not there in Shakespeare's original text, so it doesn't belong inside the quotation marks. Version 2 is essentially saying that Shakespeare included the quotation mark.

    If the punctuation mark is in the original text being quoted, I include it inside the quotation marks. If I'm adding it, then it goes outside.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    but 1 cm is smaller than a half-inch, my munificent mad one! ;)

    so, everybody: be sure you use the us or the uk measure, depending on where you are submitting your ms...

    minstrel...
    in us rules/regs, only the comma and period always go inside the " "... ! and ? can go outside, depending on what's being written...
     
  13. elious ranhale
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    elious ranhale New Member

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    That's really helpful! Thanks for the clarification! Punctuation is a silly word!
     
  14. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    I almost mentioned this, but then I didn't. Yes, question marks and exclamation points can go outside of quotation marks. That's why I specified that periods and commas always go inside quotation marks.

    I speak for American English, not British English, because I don't know the rules for the latter.
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the british rule for commas/periods is the opposite of the american one... same goes for single and double quotation marks... that said, a lot of stuff being published in the uk these days have gone over to the american model... probably because it's widely distributed/read in the us...
     

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