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  1. Robert from Ky

    Robert from Ky New Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Southern Kentucky

    Quotation Marks. When do they become too many.

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Robert from Ky, Sep 23, 2011.

    Alright people, You've already been a ton of help to me, so I am going to throw this one at you.

    I am told that there should be quotation marks for each work spoken or mind spoken sentence. Is this a given throughout the document or are there times when one at the beginning of a paragraph and one at the end suffices for the speaker provided it is non -stop speech. Is it proper to always put quotations marks around two spoken sentences if they are broken by a "he said or she said" or can you just put them at the beginning and end of the conversation.

    I have heard that too many quotation marks distract the reader.

    Just wanting to get this right this time. I am sure this is answered in the forum somewhere but I doubt my lifespan would allow me that much time to find it.

    Have a nice day everyone and be sure to smile. Makes people wonder what your up to.

    There is no end, only another beginning.
  2. VM80

    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

    Nov 16, 2010
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    Thoughts don't need quotation marks.

    If a paragraph is continuous speech, and not interrupted with '(s)he' said etc, yes you are correct.

    Otherwise no - the dialogue tags aren't part of what is being said:

    "I'm going to the mall," Mr X said. "Do you need anything?"
  3. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Coquille, Oregon
    thoughts should not be enclosed in " "... only spoken aloud/whispered dialog should be...

    no... see above...

    yes, if it's all being spoken and there are no dialog tags or narrative bits in between, of course there would only be an opening and closing " [or ' in the uk]...

    it's proper to only put the spoken parts in " "... not the dialog tags... unless, of course, one is part of a quote within a quote...
    don't know where you'd have heard such a thing, but it's not true, since like 'he/she said' the reader doesn't even notice them as long as they're in the right places...
  4. Melzaar the Almighty

    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

    Aug 28, 2010
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    Yup, the reader will not notice them. There's a reason we use small marks that neatly tuck in above the text. :p The brain passes over them, and even some of the surrounding words, completely subconciously once someone's of a decent enough reading standard, and the only time anyone will look is if you've garbled it some other way (so the actions and speech tags are confusing and the reader doesn't know who just spoke), in which case they exist as reference for the reader to try and work it out.

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