1. akiyoda
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    akiyoda New Member

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    Punctuating a quote within a quote

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by akiyoda, May 12, 2013.

    Hi, I'd like some advice on punctuating a quote within a quote.

    I know the standard US form is double on the outside, single for the inside quote; "Henry says, 'how is this?'"

    My question is whether you can change the quotation mark by the original writer when you're quoting a line of text, to reflect this rule.

    The original text reads:
    He who thinks "pulp fiction" is boring is right.

    My quote:
    James wrote that, "He who thinks 'pulp fiction' is boring is right."

    Is my quote correctly punctuated?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Jacco
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    Jacco Member

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    That's actually a really good question. I don't know this for sure but if I were writing I would say it's okay because its still clear you are quoting from the source but just changing it to fit proper grammar mechanics.
    To fully cover yourself, you could add a footnote (assuming a footnote would be appropriate as in an academic paper) explaining that you change the punctuation slightly to fit the flow and grammar of the paper.

    You can also get around it by just paraphrasing what James said: "James wrote that he thought Pulp Fiction was boring."
     
  3. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    Using American rules:

    "Who was it that said, 'There's nothing to fear but fear itself'?"
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you did it correctly...
     
  5. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I believe that's the standard way to use quotations within a quote.

    HOWEVER, according to the MLA Handbook on writing, Pulp Fiction (the movie) should technically be italicized.

    Don't forget to capitalize Pulp Fiction if you're referring to the movie also. :)
     
  6. E. C. Scrubb
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    E. C. Scrubb Active Member

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    Exactly. If you're writing for school, make sure you check your style guide. What is right in one setting, may very well be wrong in another.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    lea/ec...
    'pulp fiction' does not always have to be referring to the movie of the same name... it was a type of fiction [commonly called 'the pulps'] long before tarantino used the old term for his title...

    it refers to the kind of fiction published during the first half of the last century with soft-covers, printed on 'wood pulp' paper, as opposed to hard cover books printed on higher quality paper...

    and yes, it was often 'boring' since a lot of it was written by less than stellar writers... however, many authors [especially sci-fi ones] who subsequently became household names now seen as 'greats' in the literary world got their start in 'the pulps'...
     

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