Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Are You "In," or "Out"?

Quotation Marks + Punctuation = ???
My red pen bleeds profusely over the writer's confusion of whether to put the commas, periods, question marks, and their one alotted exclamation point (see previous post) inside or outside of quotation marks.

Quick Lesson

1. Commas and periods go inside quotation marks:

Mary McQuire wrote the article "Going Overseas Isn't for Sissies."

"I can't believe she writes so well but punctuates like a kindergartner," Cindy said. "She seems so smart."

2. Question marks and exclamation points go inside quotation marks if they are a part of the quote. Put them outside if they apply to the whole sentence:

"Well, did you ever consider that she is from England?" asked Freda. "When it comes to grammar rules, Brits and Yanks are separated by a common language!"

Who said "England and America are two countries separated by a common language"?

3. According to my grammar books, these two rules are "almost always." For lack of time, I would be curious to know the exceptions, playing by the U.S. rules.

"Do you know of any?" she inquired.

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