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If I quote someone in a context where a blockquote is appropriate and there isn't lead-in prose which identifies the source, how should it be typeset? I'm quoting a saying or remark, as would be done in a "list of quotes" or the front matter for a book or chapter.

How would this example be improved? Is there anything wrong with it?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua...
  — Fred Nurk

This varies by which style guide is being used and is essentially a trivial problem, so please qualify answers with any details about when they'd be appropriate. I'm assuming an audience of the general population, much like for this site.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

For this kind of styling, you should check out your favourite news sources, as they constantly use blockquotes, though they are more prone to use inline quotes.

BBC, for instance often does it something like this:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua...

Fred Nurk

And sometimes like this:

Fred Nurk: "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua..."

Otherwise, consult a manual of style.

But I think the way you have done it originally is fine. The main point is to be clear and concise. And do try to keep consistent within a work, or within a publication. If you are writing for a publication do it the same way the publication normally does it.

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You have answered it yourself: it should be done as per the style guide for the publisher or publication in question, or in whichever manner whoever is paying you or marking you likes it. A commonplace solution seems to be a couple of ems indent left and right, a half-line space before and after, and a point or so smaller type than the body text.

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What do various style guides say? Does the style above match any of them? I'm not concentrating on the blockquote part (indentation on both sides, typeface, etc.), more on the quotation and citing. –  Roger Pate Oct 11 '10 at 22:45

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