1. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    Quotes within dialogue

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by tcol4417, May 11, 2011.

    “What did he have written in his?” Sam asked.
    Atlas wrinkled his brow in recall. “I think it was ‘Raspberries are healthy and delicious’. I’m not entirely sure why.”

    I need help with the 's and "s as well as the full stop inside/outside the quote.

    I think I've gotten it right, but I'm not sure.
     
  2. Annûniel
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're almost right. The apostrophe goes outside the period. And I believe there should be a comma or a colon before the quote starts.
     
  3. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Dialogue quotes go outside the punctuation. Within dialogue, quotes go inside the punctuation, as the punctuation has nothing to do with the quoted material. And there should be a comma after "was".

    Remember, this is is American English, not silly British Speak. I have no clue what they would do.

    source: http://fictionwriting.about.com/od/writingexercises/qt/punctuation.htm
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, a comma is needed after 'was'...

    and, in american usage, the period stays inside the single quotation mark just as it does inside the double...

    funky...
    i strongly urge you to delete 'silly' if you don't want to start a national pride war and be censured by admin for being impolite... it's certainly not 'silly' to the british to follow their own usage rules...
     
  5. teacherayala
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    teacherayala Contributing Member

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    I agree with Mammamia. Actually, from what I understand, British English allows for punctuation outside of quotation marks. In American English, commas and periods ALWAYS go on the inside. It´s the colons and semicolons that can go outside depending on the circumstance.

    Strongly encourage editing of your post as it is not only inaccurate, but it could be conceived as demeaning.
     
  6. Annûniel
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm British now? Interesting...

    Thanks for the confirmation, maia, ayala. I've only ever seen punctuation inside quotation marks, single or double. It looks strange for me to see it any other way. ^^'
     
  7. Leatherworth Featherfist
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    Leatherworth Featherfist Member

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    I just recently committed a quote within a quote within a quote. It looked something like this:

    "I especially liked when the author said, 'I only knew but one man who had the balls to say, "'Politicians are a bunch of animals.'" That idea has stuck with me ever since.'" ??????? I have no idea how to punctuate such a cluster of quotations.
     
  8. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Sorry, didn't mean to sound demeaning. Just playful "Which is correct, British English or American English?" banter. Didn't think anyone would take me seriously considering British English came first, and therefore if anything American English would be ultimately "incorrect."

    And I cited a source that says exactly what I summarized. Feel free to check the link if you wish.
     
  9. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Did some more research, and found a more reliable source that repudiates what I originally said: http://www.dailywritingtips.com/period-goes-inside-quotation-marks/

    I've always found about.com to be fairly reliable with information, but I suppose I was wrong to assume it was correct. Sorry for the confusion, just trying to help.
     
  10. teacherayala
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    teacherayala Contributing Member

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    The period can go in between the single and double quotes at the end.
     
  11. teacherayala
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    teacherayala Contributing Member

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    Also, you can consider an indirect quote in order to break up your cluster.
     
  12. teacherayala
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    teacherayala Contributing Member

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    no worries! :)
     
  13. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    [QUOTE=
    Remember, this is is American English, not silly British Speak. I have no clue what they would do.



    We'd do it right, of course!
     
  14. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    "British English came first" is questionable, as with many of the differences it's US English that follows the English of the founding fathers, and it's British English that's changed. And in any case, the rules of punctuation didn't stabilise until the 20th century (and they're still not entirely stable, but nothing in language is) so both sets of rules are of a similar age.

    Essentially, the US rules were designed to look good on the page, whereas the UK rules were designed for logic (and Britain seems to be less rule-bound than the Land of the Free). Both are reasonable motivations, but understandably give different results.

    One (not the only) permissible way of punctuating the sentence in British English would be:
    Atlas wrinkled his brow in recall. “I think it was ‘Raspberries are healthy and delicious’. I’m not entirely sure why.”​
    Look familiar? :D
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    still needs a comma after 'was'... doesn't it?
     
  16. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    This came up recently. According to the Oxford Style Manual it's optional (although in my experience it's more usual than not to have the comma).
     
  17. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    I think it would follow the rules of regular quotes. If you worded it this way...

    John said, "I talked to Jane and she said, 'Not a chance.' I wish she didn't but she did."

    So I agree with both of you.
     

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