Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,542
tsuwm Offline OP
Carpal Tunnel
OP Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,542
I've really been struggling with this lately; I understand the rulz guidelines, but often the results just look wrong to me. I sure would appreciate it if someone could 'splain these so they make some logical sense.

Quote:
Put commas and periods within closing quotation marks, except when a parenthetical reference follows the quotation:

He said, "I may forget your name, but I never remember a face."

History is stained with blood spilled in the name of "civilization."

Mullen, criticizing the apparent inaction, writes, "Donahue's policy was to do nothing" (27).

Put colons and semicolons outside closing quotation marks:

Williams described the experiment as "a definitive step forward"; other scientists disagreed.

Benedetto emphasizes three elements of what she calls her "Olympic journey": family support, personal commitment, and great coaching.


so, slightly recasting one of these moves the punctuation:
Williams described the experiment as "a definitive step forward," while other scientists disagreed.

and, this looks better to me:
History is stained with blood spilled in the name of "civilization".

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,773
Pooh-Bah
Offline
Pooh-Bah
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,773
The placement of certain punctuation within the quotes is an American rule; those on the island across the pond put the punctuation outside the quotes when it punctuates the sentence rather than the quote. I don't think that you can find logic in the American rule; I prefer the other way, as do you. From what I've been seeing, I think that the Amercian rule is on it's way out. But don't quote me on that.

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,542
tsuwm Offline OP
Carpal Tunnel
OP Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,542
I suppose I should qualify that by revealing that I found it at the Purdue University Online Writing Lab [OWL], but like you say Sparteye, it seems to capture the standard American guidelines and I'm sure Michigan State and Ohio State would agree.

oh, and thank you for your support.

Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 7,210
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 7,210
count me in, too, t.

that Mullen line looks so blasted wrong to me. it's about the only one I would put inside the parens.

Quote:
those on the island across the pond put the punctuation outside the quotes when it punctuates the sentence rather than the quote.


this is what I usually try to make work.


formerly known as etaoin...
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
I'll go with Sparteye's rule, too. My understanding of the origin of the rule is that in the old days periods and commas outside of quotes somehow managed to be in danger of breaking off or something stupid like that. That would explain why colons and semicolons could live safely outside the quotation marks. Certainly if you're writing for a computer instruction book of whatever kind, if you're using quotes to delimit something that has to be input to the computer you'd best not have anything inside the quotes that you don't want input.

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,067
old hand
Offline
old hand
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,067
Originally Posted By: Sparteye
The placement of certain punctuation within the quotes is an American rule; those on the island across the pond put the punctuation outside the quotes when it punctuates the sentence rather than the quote. I don't think that you can find logic in the American rule; I prefer the other way, as do you. From what I've been seeing, I think that the Amercian rule is on it's [sic] way out. But don't quote me on that.


Hey I just did, oops (quote you that is).

I think your rule is the rule here in Australia (across the other pond) too. Not sure whether you're right about the Brits. Personally I tend to be inconsistent depending on the aesthetics of it, as others have said.

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,773
Pooh-Bah
Offline
Pooh-Bah
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,773
Originally Posted By: The Pook
Originally Posted By: Sparteye
The placement of certain punctuation within the quotes is an American rule; those on the island across the pond put the punctuation outside the quotes when it punctuates the sentence rather than the quote. I don't think that you can find logic in the American rule; I prefer the other way, as do you. From what I've been seeing, I think that the Amercian rule is on it's [sic] way out. But don't quote me on that.


Hey I just did, oops (quote you that is).

I think your rule is the rule here in Australia (across the other pond) too. Not sure whether you're right about the Brits. Personally I tend to be inconsistent depending on the aesthetics of it, as others have said.


What? You sic'd "it's" but not "Amercian"? Those were proof of a hurried post.

My distinction between the American and Brit rule is from a usage book, and a British friend. The book could be wrong, but I'm too scared of Fi to question her.

Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 3,439
W
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
W
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 3,439
I think that the Amercian rule is on it's way out. But don't quote me on that.

Sorry, Sparteye, but I just purchased the latest edition of the Associated Press Stylebook, which is the standard at newspapers, and the inside-the-quotes rule stands.
There are some nice exchanges on the website www.apstylebook.org

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,542
tsuwm Offline OP
Carpal Tunnel
OP Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,542
 Originally Posted By: wow
the inside-the-quotes rule stands.


and it's still "dumb".

Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 7,210
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 7,210
 Originally Posted By: tsuwm
 Originally Posted By: wow
the inside-the-quotes rule stands.


and it's still "dumb".


word.


formerly known as etaoin...
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Jackie 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Forum Statistics
Forums16
Topics13,907
Posts228,376
Members9,161
Most Online3,341
Dec 9th, 2011
Newest Members
Silverfox, Red_Canoe, Merchant7, crusoe66, TheFilthyOre
9,161 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 103 guests, and 4 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters(30 Days)
Top Posters
wwh 13,858
Faldage 13,803
Jackie 11,613
tsuwm 10,542
LukeJavan8 9,854
AnnaStrophic 6,511
Wordwind 6,296
of troy 5,400
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2022 Wordsmith

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5