1. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Two things...

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Melzaar the Almighty, Oct 20, 2010.

    Yeah, it's me again. :p I, um, had tonsilitis the month they taught basically ALL grammar ever at school. Does it show? :p (I struggled all the way in for semicolons when I thought I was feeling better, and fainted in the class. :D)

    Basically the title is both a statement on the number of questions I have an actually a way of expressing my problem. :p

    I have these two sentences:

    and

    I can see no way around having "a.m." at the end of the sentence, and therefore having double full-stops. I left out the second questionmark in the speech since it was making my brain hurt, but I slept on it and I still think, grammatically, there needs to be a second questionmark, since the person speaking both asks a question and frames a second within her speech... So, "... or mine?'?" which... also makes my brain hurt.

    How the hell do you deal with crazy punctuation like that!?
     
  2. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    The glowing display on her phone told her it was one thirty ante meridiem.
    HTH.




















    I guess that might be a little too poncy though.:)

    one thirty in the morning.

    do you need to specify it's morning? Is it perhaps obvious? or.. the glowing display on her phone, piercing the nightly gloom, told her it was one thirty (if there's a danger the reader might think it during the afternoon.)

    Are you escpecially in love with your couch or mine. Recast the sentence so there is no question, perhaps?
     
  3. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    You shouldn't put more than one sentence terminator, so you don't need 2 question marks or full stops in your examples.

    For UK English, usually it would be:

    The glowing display on her phone told her it was one thirty a.m.

    and

    'You want me to just go up to her and say, "Hey, Markus thinks I can help you work out your issues...Your couch or mine"?'
     
  4. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not ending a question with a questionmark makes me hurt inside... But have the one outside the inside speechmark? Okay...

    *twitch*

    Might just go with "in the morning" for the other though I was trying, again, to go for a shorter, snappier sentence. It's really not my week for those things, is it? :p
     
  5. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Personally, I wouldn't bother putting the quote in a quote, I'd just go:

    'You want me to just go up to her and say, Hey, Markus thinks I can help you work out your issues...Your couch or mine?'

    but I guessed you were wondering how to do it WITH the inserted quotes.
     
  6. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah... I've got quite used to quoting like that, so if I was going to change my style I'd have to do a loooot of editing. :p
     
  7. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Both situations are actually good questions in that they pose the idea of a situation where two rules seems to be fighting for priority. Your first example ending in a.m. should end just like that, a.m. Not a.m.. The single full stop is quite enough. Your second example is fine as it is. The finish on the quotation looks busy and strange with ?'", but it satisfies all the needs set up by the antecedent words and punctuation.

    I don't normally quote my own work as examples, I think it's a bit egocentric, but there is a passage I wrote for a fantasy story loooong ago that is just rife with a person quoting others within the context of a conversation with another person:


     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you could write 'showed it was one-thirty in the morning' to K.I.S.

    in re the second, i'd leave off the ? in the interior speculative line and use it for the question that the character who's actually speaking asks...
     
  9. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    The glowing display on my phone just tells me it's one thirty. If it were p.m. it would tell me that it was thirteen thirty.

    Do you actually need the "a.m."? Or is it clear anyway from the context.
     
  10. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    The glowing display on my phone just tells me it's one thirty. If it were p.m. it would tell me that it was thirteen thirty.

    Do you actually need the "a.m."? Or is it clear anyway from the context.
     
  11. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are some digital display clocks that don't use the 24 hr system, they show the time with the 12 hr clock and add 'a.m.' or 'p.m.' My clock radio does this.
     
  12. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    My wristwatch does that, but with a tiny dot (too small for me to see without taking my glasses off and peering closely) to indicate p.m. The point I was really making is that we can usually work out morning or afternoon from context.
     
  13. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    You can't have more than one full stop, comma, exclamation mark or question mark in a row without any text between them.

    Usually, the innermost punctuation mark wins, except for the full stop, which loses to all the others.

    So
    should be
    and
    is entirely correct.

    You should also write,
    In the first line above, the full stop inside the quote loses to the comma outside it. In the second line, the exclamation mark inside the quote wins over the comma outside it. Same thing in the third line.
     
  14. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    nope...sorry, misread something!
     
  15. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    If only!!!!

    But darn right you shouldn't. :)
     

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