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I can't seem to find any answer in my high school grammar textbook regarding the use of commas after titles that appear in quotes. Is this question addressed by American style guides?

I recently read the newspaper and the "95 Theses," and I learned so many things!

Here is an alternative syntax:

I recently read the newspaper and the "95 Theses", and I learned so many things!

EDIT: For the downvoters, the feedback I've gotten suggests that there is no objective answer for the question of which syntax is "correct." Therefore, I've reworded to ask a more objectively answerable question about what popular American style guides recommend about this part of English syntax.

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This question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, see the FAQ for guidance. english.stackexchange.com/faq –  Kris Apr 18 '13 at 5:21
1  
They're both correct, but the first is American-style punctuation & the second is British-style. No style manual but the one you are required to use at the moment can give a definitive answer about which one is "correct". –  user21497 Apr 18 '13 at 5:55
    
I've seen the embedded comma in US-style speech, but never in titles. I think even in US-style writing, the comma would be best left outside the quotation marks. –  njd Apr 18 '13 at 11:47
    
In which case it isn't, I think, known as 'US-style'. This whole area gets so messy with all the conflicting 'rules' and 'sensible exceptions'. When one is quoting a quote, it can become quite ludicrous. –  Edwin Ashworth Apr 18 '13 at 13:04
    
Thanks for the feedback from everybody! It appears that this comes down to a question of one's style guide, one's writing context, and one's own preferences. –  Rustavore Apr 19 '13 at 15:12

3 Answers 3

up vote -2 down vote accepted

My favorite style guide is The Little,Brown Handbook. It advises placing commas and periods inside quotation marks and placing colons and semicolons outside of quotation marks.

Perhaps the safest option with such a tricky sentence is to rewrite it. For instance, I learned so many things from reading the newspaper and the "95 Theses."

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I accepted this answer because it cites a specific style guide, and also provides an alternative recommendation. It seems to be the most complete answer to the question. Thanks!! –  Rustavore Apr 19 '13 at 15:24
    
For the downvoters, care to explain what is wrong with this answer so it can be improved?? –  Rustavore Apr 19 '13 at 21:49
    
-1 Both the question and the answer earned down votes because it is generally not the way questions are asked here on ELU. Posts must be useful to the community at large, not merely a one-time need of just one member. Answers need to be, as far as possible, canonical and supported by reliable sources, and importantly, generic and broadly applicable in a variety of situations. Personal opinions and preferences, tastes and dislikes, do not constitute answers. They can appear in comments. –  Kris Apr 20 '13 at 4:56
    
Thanks for the feedback, Kris! I apologize for violating community norms and will work to improve my questions. I fully agree with your assessment of my original question, which prompted my edit. I'm totally fine with closing this question too. However, I think that commas and quotation marks are tricky for many people. This answer does cite a specific American style guide, and provides advise on rewording this awkward situation. What would be a more appropriate type of answer? –  Rustavore Apr 22 '13 at 17:29

As an Englishman who worked for ten years in the United States, I have to say that I've never encountered the former style of punctuation in either country. It looks ugly, and to me that suggests incorrect.

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Kate L. Turabian on punctuation with quotation marks: "Period and commas should be placed in side quotation marks (even when the quotation marks enclose only one letter or figure)..." (A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertation, p.79)

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Thanks for the really helpful citation! I wish I could mark two answers as correct. –  Rustavore Apr 19 '13 at 15:23

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