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  1. jakeybum
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    jakeybum Member

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    Quote marks, commas, exclamation points, and question marks

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by jakeybum, Aug 13, 2015.

    Hello. My name is Jake. I am hoping you can help me out with a few questions. I would be sincerely appreciative of any help you could give.

    In American English, would we make an exception and place the commas outside the quotes in these sentences? If not, could you show me where they go in each? Are these correct with the punctuation? I cannot rephrase.

    √ Jane’s latest article, “How Do We Overcome Our Obsessions?”, was very informative. (Correct with comma outside the ending quote marks as shown?)

    √ "Mamma Mia!", her favorite play, was on Broadway. (Correct with comma outside the ending quote marks as shown?)

    √ "Oklahoma!", by Rodgers and Hammerstein, was phenomenal. / "Oklahoma!", a famous musical, will go down in history. (Correct with comma outside the ending quote marks as shown?)

    √ Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" was phenomenal. (I say no commas here.)

    √ "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", a weekly book, is now on sale. (Correct with comma outside the ending quote marks as shown?)

    But no commas in the following example, correct, because there are many weekly books?

    √ The weekly book "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" is now on sale.

    Thank you for any guidance.

    Sincerely,

    Jake
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
  2. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    First of all, why do you have them in quotation marks? Works are italicized.
     
  3. jakeybum
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    Sorry. I neglected to mention the most important thing: this would be for journalism. We can't use italics for these.
     
  4. jakeybum
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    jakeybum Member

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    The title of an article would not be italicized...

    Jane’s latest article, “How Do We Overcome Our Obsessions?”, was very informative.
     
  5. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    True. That I overlooked. I did a quick google search because being a Canadian, I'm exposed equally to both styles and get confused, and they say that U.S. style is always inside.
     
  6. jakeybum
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    jakeybum Member

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    Like this, then, Brianiff?

    Jane’s latest article, “How Do We Overcome Our Obsessions?,” was very informative.

    "Mamma Mia!," her favorite play, was on Broadway.

    "Oklahoma!," by Rodgers and Hammerstein, was phenomenal. / "Oklahoma!," a famous musical, will go down in history.

    "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," a weekly book, is now on sale.

    The questions "Who?," "What?," "When?," "Where?," "How?," and "Why?" have yet to be answered.

    Sam said he was tired of the investigator's “How late were you out?," "Did you cheat on your wife?," and "What did you have to gain?" questions.

    Again, this is nonfiction.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
  7. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    Yeah, they look odd but probably because of how rarely we that. It's technically correct, so fully correct.
     
  8. jakeybum
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    jakeybum Member

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    Even these?

    The questions "Who?," "What?," "When?," "Where?," "How?," and "Why?" have yet to be answered.

    Sam said he was tired of the investigator's “How late were you out?," "Did you cheat on your wife?," and "What did you have to gain?" questions.
     
  9. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd say comma after the quotes, because of the instances where you already have a punctuation mark within the quotes.
     
  10. jakeybum
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    jakeybum Member

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    As I had in all of my originals? In AmE, really?
     
  11. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    Does your latest example have to be separate quotations?
     
  12. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd say so, but then I'm not a journo. I wasn't aware American and British English punctuation differed?
     
  13. jakeybum
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    jakeybum Member

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    Oh, yeah. Big time.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
  14. jakeybum
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    jakeybum Member

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    What do you recommend?
     
  15. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    The questions of who, what, where, why, and how, have yet to be answered.

    Sam said he was tired of the investigator's "How late were you out? Did you cheat on your wife? What did you have to gain?"

    Even though the second one is not a direct quotation in the sense that the investigator likely did not say each question continuously without interruption, the meaning is clear.
     
  16. jakeybum
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    Thanks, all. Very helpful, indeed.

    jakeybum
     

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