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I’m writing a tweet that starts with:

Put on a tie today. “Work,” you ask?

But I’m not sure where the punctuation should be. Is the above correct? Or, is it something like:

Put on a tie today. “Work?” you ask.

Or something else?

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marked as duplicate by TimLymington, choster, phenry, FumbleFingers, aedia λ Feb 24 at 21:12

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Put on a tie today is an order. Put a tie on today is what you did.

I believe that

"Work?" you ask.

Is correct.

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2  
How is it that Put on a tie today can only be an order? I read it as a perfectly natural statement of what OP did. –  JAM Aug 2 '12 at 2:49
    
@JAM perhaps order is a bit strong, and perhaps it's just my interpretation. For me, the subtle distinction comes with the dropped/implied subject. –  cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Aug 2 '12 at 3:03
2  
@AlanW.Smith, Why not just say, "I put on a tie today." in your tweet? It's only two more characters and a lot clearer. –  JLG Aug 2 '12 at 3:03
    
I ended up using all 140 available characters. I changed it up a little. There was probably another edit I could have made but I think it'll get the point across. –  Alan W. Smith Aug 2 '12 at 4:22
    
Put on a tie today is strictly speaking imperative, but it's a colloquial drop of the pronoun "I". "[I am] Going out for a bit!". –  Ollie Ford Feb 23 at 1:12

It is the same as the type of question as

"Why?" you may ask.

So this should be:

"Work?" you ask.

You see, work functions as the question as a quotation implying a certain tone whereas you ask is separately a part of the written document.

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Welcome to English.SE. Thanks for sharing. I've adjusted the style of your answer and made it so it would be clearer for others to comprehend the logic behind your answer. –  virmaior Feb 23 at 0:01

Put on a tie today. "Work?" - you ask - no, just in that kind of mood!

(Or whatever the rest of your sentence is)

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