English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When writing a sentence that contains the short version of inches as a double quote, (e.g. the box measured 14") does the period come before, or after the quotation mark?

share|improve this question
up vote 7 down vote accepted

It comes after: the quote isn't being used for the purpose of quotation.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the Quick Reply! – Dave Johnshon Jun 14 '11 at 20:01

Actually, the abbreviation for inches is a double prime; even in the case you use the quotation mark as abbreviation, the period is placed after the abbreviation.

I am 6′2″.
I am 6'2".

share|improve this answer
+1 for noting that the abbreviation for inches is really supposed to be double prime. I also wanted to explicitly note also that the abbreviation for feet is single prime (′). Of course many people use single quote and double quote as easy-to-type substitutes; however, typographical mavens would insist on using the correct characters. – nohat Jun 14 '11 at 20:12
Well any typographer or indeed, simply, any ordinary designer or art director or junior person in an ad agency or any publisher or newspaper or magazine or even blog --- would use the "correct characters." You wouldn't have to be a "maven" and you would hardly "insist" on it - yo'd just use the correct characters as in any other situation where you should eg. spell correctly!! – Joe Blow Jun 14 '11 at 20:20
@nohat - getting ' and '' right is especially important if you are drawing up plans for a replica of stonehenge. – mgb Jun 15 '11 at 16:38
@Martin I'm not sure what you're getting at, but I'm pretty sure the original builders of Stonehenge weren't using feet and inches. On the other hand, all of the millions of buildings in the United States are built using materials that are measured in feet and inches. – nohat Jun 15 '11 at 17:12
@nohat, posting on a geek site and not knowing Spinal tap (and Monty Python) scripts by heart? I suspect you are some sort of Bot! – mgb Jun 15 '11 at 17:36

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.