1. Tyler Danann
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    Tyler Danann Active Member

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    Period or Comma after first speech comma?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Tyler Danann, May 27, 2015.

    Is this correct? I would in the past use a period <.> here:

    “Once we pass the island there’s no more island cover until La Salle,” Stromson explained. “Pointing out the distant islet on a chart.”

    Yet the more I think of it, the more I wonder if a comma would be a better suited:

    “Once we pass the island there’s no more island cover until La Salle,” Stromson explained, “pointing out the distant islet on a chart.”

    Is the first or second example correct?
     
  2. ladybird
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    ladybird Contributing Member

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    I would use the second example.
     
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  3. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Usually both would be acceptable, but because the actual speech has been split in half (the second part starting with "pointing" is a clause connected to the first part of the speech), in this instance it would make much more sense to go with the second example - eg. to use a comma as opposed to a full stop.
     
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  4. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Ummm... I'm confused. Is the whole thing in quotes what Stromson actually said?

    Or did you mean to write: “Once we pass the island there’s no more island cover until La Salle,” Stromson explained, pointing out the distant islet on a chart.

    "Once we pass the island there's no more island cover until La Salle pointing out the distant islet on a chart."

    That doesn't actually make sense as a statement coming out of somebody's mouth, does it? At least not to me. You've put it in quotes, so it's a direct quotation of Stromson's speech. If the pointing is intended to be his action instead, it should not be in quotes. Splitting the quote doesn't make any difference to that. It reads a bit weird at the moment, at least to me.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  5. Tyler Danann
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    Tyler Danann Active Member

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    Well spotted little owl! :)
     
  6. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    “Once we pass the island there’s no more island cover until La Salle,” Stromson explained, pointing out the distant islet on a chart, “and once there our work really begins.”

    Comma or full stop after chart?
     
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  7. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Depends how the character said the line. If he made it sound like the sentence was finished after La Salle, then period after chart. But if the character (in the writer's mind) was saying one long sentence, comma.
     
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  8. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, I'd have no problem reading that, as you wrote it. You could also use a full stop, but then you'd need to start the next bit with a cap.

    ....pointing out the distant islet on a chart. "And once there, our work finally begins."
     
  9. ladybird
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    ladybird Contributing Member

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    Well spotted! I read the example as
    “Once we pass the island there’s no more island cover until La Salle,” Stromson explained, pointing out the distant islet on a chart.
     
  10. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    Comma works (without the speech marks on the action, of course). You do, however, put a period if the dialogue continues after Stromson explained.

    Example:

    “Once we pass the island there’s no more island cover until La Salle,” Stromson explained, pointing out the distant islet on a chart.

    “Once we pass the island there’s no more island cover until La Salle,” Stromson explained. “But we can still do some sunbathing!”
     
  11. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Might be a period, might be a comma. Depends if the dialogue is one sentence or two. This example is ambiguous because it could be either, but it would be correct to use a comma in:

    "Once we pass the island there's no more cover until LaSalle," Stromson explained, "which is further than we can expect to go."
     
  12. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    The example's fine.

    But you're right. It would be a comma if the sentence was continuous.
     

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