1. jakeybum

    jakeybum Active Member

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    Why didn't the author use quotation marks?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by jakeybum, Aug 16, 2015.

    Here's a sentence from a book I am reading:

    You can con God, Granny said, if you do it with wit and charm.

    Why didn't the author place the words in quotes like this?

    “You can con God,” Granny said, “if you do it with wit and charm.”
     
  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Some authors simply don't use quotation makes for dialogue. Cormac McCarthy, for example. Also, others might not use them if that's a sentence relating something said in the past rather than contemporaneous dialogue.
     
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  3. Aaron DC

    Aaron DC Contributor Contributor

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    Without context it's too difficult to tell.

    Possibly because the author is recounting something Granny once said, rather than something she is saying right now?
     
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  4. jakeybum

    jakeybum Active Member

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    Thanks, Steerpike and Aaron DC.
     
  5. jakeybum

    jakeybum Active Member

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    You know what? Come to think of it, I have noticed that in Cormac McCarthy's writing—that is, no quotation marks for dialogue. Weird.

    These here is on the judge, he said.

    Do you or do you not prefer quotes for dialogue?
     
  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    James Joyce too. Maybe Faulkner?
     
  7. Sifunkle

    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    Might change with context, but I'd have taken that as a paraphrase. As in Granny had conveyed that sentiment, but not in those words.
     
  8. jakeybum

    jakeybum Active Member

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    I think that is definitely it, Sifunkle. If it were the exact words spoken by Granny, then quotation marks would have been used. For a paraphrase, omit them.
     
  9. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    It's purely a stylistic choice.
     

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