Questions about quotations, a group of words taken from a text or speech and repeated by someone other than the original author or speaker.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

350
votes
18answers
26k views

How do you quote a passage that has used '[sic]' mistakenly?

The usage of '[sic]' is well defined for quoting a passage that you believe has an error in it: nearest to the mistake you place '[sic]' within the quotes. For example, suppose I write a letter from I ...
45
votes
4answers
34k views

Why does the multi-paragraph quotation rule exist?

The answer to this question clearly explains the standard rule that when you have multiple quoted paragraphs, each new paragraph starts with an opening quotation mark, but only the final quoted ...
20
votes
6answers
11k views

Appropriate dash to use when attributing a quotation?

If I’m citing a poem or quotation, what kind of dash precedes the author’s name? Example: This Business of Printing; which I am heartily tired of, and repent I e’er attempted. . . .           ...
17
votes
4answers
7k views

Should I fix typos/grammatical errors in quotation?

When writing papers, I meet typos/grammatical errors in references now and then. Should I correct them, or leave them as they are?
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Any reference on the usage of a backtick and single quotation mark like `this'?

Why do I sometimes see a backtick with a single quote `like this'? What's the name of this usage? What are some good references so I can find more information by myself?
13
votes
2answers
906 views

The usage of “sic” in writing

I have seen many articles that use quotes from players like: We gonna [sic] be working hard over the summer cause we gotta [sic] get better. What is sic? Where does it come from?
12
votes
5answers
2k views

How to punctuate a quoted question within a question?

How would I punctuate the bold portion? "Who are you?" she asked. "Wait," I replied, "did you just ask me Who are you?" I would use the following: "Wait," I replied, "did you just ask ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the best way to mention a word: italics, quotes, or single-quotes (apostrophes)?

If I want to mention the word "furlong", for example, should I use furlong, "furlong", or 'furlong'? Also, am I correct in putting the punctuation outside the quotes?
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Quoting a question at the end of a sentence which is itself a question

If my sentence is a question and ends with a quote of a question, where exactly do I put a question mark? Did she ask, "Is it raining"? Did she ask, "Is it raining?"? Did she ask, "Is it ...
10
votes
2answers
329 views

Is there a term that means “oft-used misquotation”?

There are some quotations that people always seem to get wrong: Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well. [Real quote from Hamlet: "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio."] I have nothing to offer ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Capitalizing quotations with initial omission?

Let's say we wanted to omit the first four words of the following quotation. "I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then live with that decision." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt Generally ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

If you're using a quote with a period but do not want to end the sentence, do you keep the period?

For example. If I want to quote a passage from a writing, that says The cake is not a lie. and my sentence is: The book by author states that "The cake is not a lie." however studies show ...
9
votes
6answers
371 views

Changing a quotation so that the original is recognised, but has been given a new meaning

I didn't know how to phrase my title to make it meaningful to anyone, and I can't really explain it now, so I shall use an example: The opening phrase on the DSGB website is "It's counting, Jim, but ...
8
votes
7answers
13k views

What does “There but for the grace of God — goes God.” mean?

It is a supposedly witty paraprosdokian said by Churchill. But I (and possibly some other people whose first language is not English) don't get it. Can someone explain what it means? Do English native ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

Comma placement when using quotes that end with a question mark [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I punctuate around quotes? I've been writing a letter to an editor, and one line of my response reads: In your article "What Makes Free Will Free?" you ...
6
votes
2answers
376 views

Should I replace “me” and “I” with “he” or “she” when quoting?

If I quote someone saying "me" or "I", when I quote them should I replace them with "he" or "she"? For example, if someone says: I went to the movies. Should I quote that like this: He/she ...
6
votes
5answers
310 views

Does quoting in British or American English depend on the quoted or the audience?

If you are quoting/documenting the conversation between two people — one is British and one American — do you use a consistent approach directed towards your intended audience or switch to ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Idiom for opportunistically exploiting a situation to one's advantage

I was wondering what various figures of speech could be used to describe a situation where somebody exploits a situation in order to push their own agenda. For example in Persian we have 'Catching a ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Whence “emphasis mine”?

Writers often highlight part of a quotation to emphasize the point they're making. They use a variety of phrases to indicate that the emphasis did not appear in the original text. In order of current ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

What does Albert Einstein’s epigram, “Many of the things you can count, don't count. …” mean?

This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics were given to American physicists, Dr. Saul Perlmutter and two other American physicists for “the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Should a period be placed within quotation marks if it would conflict with a punctuated item that should be used or typed verbatim?

Gee whiz! Just when I thought I had the "period within quotation marks" rules set firmly in my personal punctuational code, I hit upon this sentence: All message IDs are pre-pended with the value ...
5
votes
3answers
542 views

What can I do instead of [sic]?

I have a quote that has a misplaced "to": ... they will put you to back to sleep ... It seems like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I can either: Just delete the mistaken "to" (then I ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Where should the period be put when an entire sentence is quoted at the end of a sentence?

As in the following: A common proverb is: “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” A common proverb is: “A rolling stone gathers no moss”. A common proverb is: “A rolling stone gathers no ...
5
votes
1answer
172 views

Punctuating a Question Ending with an Exclamatory Quotation in American Style

I've done quite a bit of looking for some definitive advice on this scenario to no avail, so I turn to you. What is the proper way to punctuate a question ending with an exclamatory quotation, such as ...
5
votes
1answer
387 views

Changing person and tense in a quote

I'm reading Cranford (1853) by Elizabeth Gaskell, and encountered the following passage: "Have you seen any numbers of Pickwick Papers?" said [Captain Brown]. (They were then publishing in parts.) ...
5
votes
1answer
380 views

Is it acceptable to use 'that' followed by a direct quote?

New York Times: Even before President Obama declared this month that “I have Israel’s back” in its escalating confrontation with Iran, pro-Israel figures like the evangelical Christian leader ...
4
votes
5answers
381 views

Word for using quotation as part of sentence

Is there a word to describe the co-opting of a well-known phrase in the course of regular conversation or writing? For example, a sentence regarding death might refer to "shaking off the mortal coil" ...
4
votes
2answers
664 views

Quotations that skip paragraphs

This is a problem that has long troubled me. Imagine that I have a block of prose organized in three paragraphs. I want to construct a single quotation that contains only the first and third ...
4
votes
2answers
618 views

Cleaning up / formatting verbatim quotations

Frequently, I have situations where I am in need of the ability to quote an individual who has written something verbatim that has some type of grammatical error. Although I would like to write it ...
4
votes
2answers
111 views

How to quote in this situation?

Mark said, "it would ruin our school's reputation!" If I want to quote Mark here, Mark noted that doing so and so would "ruin _ school's reputation." If I want to emphasize that Mark ...
4
votes
3answers
605 views

Should one stick to American style of placing punctuation marks within quotes if one uses the American spelling?

According to Wikipedia, there are two ways to use punctation marks when it comes to quoting. Basically, we have the British style, where punctation marks that don't come from the quoted material "is ...
4
votes
2answers
572 views

Plurals and possessives of quoted words [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Marking plural of code words Pluralizing Keywords in Programming Languages After asking a number of questions on StackOverflow, I keep running into some of the same ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I quote nonconsecutive lines from a poem?

I'm writing an analysis of a poem and want to quote nonconsecutive lines. Is there a specific way to do this, or would I just use an ellipsis and no slash?
4
votes
1answer
6k views

Use quotation marks or italics for written quotes?

In narrative writing, should I use quotation marks or italics when I quote something someone wrote? I would go with italics to differentiate written from spoken quotes: “I know who the killer ...
4
votes
2answers
300 views

Punctuation following “along the lines of ”

When the phrase “along the lines of” introduces an indirect quote, what punctuation, if any, is used? This is the original sentence that brought up the issue: I heard replies along the lines of ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the difference between “I can't get any sleep” and “I can/'t get no sleep”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What does “I Can't Get No Satisfaction” mean? I'd like to know the difference between these sentences: I can't get any sleep. I can get no sleep. ...
3
votes
3answers
912 views

“[…] up with which I will not put.”

Okay, I'm probably being a bit slow here, but I don't quite understand this story: Supposedly an editor had clumsily rearranged one of Churchill’s sentences to avoid ending it in a preposition, ...
3
votes
2answers
548 views

Meaning of “Monkey still working let Baboon wait small”

From Foreign Policy: As I noted in my piece, the president has made the colloquial phrase, "Monkey still working, let baboon wait small" her campaign slogan. It's an appeal to Liberian voters ...
3
votes
3answers
275 views

How to indicate “Our remark”?

I have a sentence: Before the Greeks, the ancient Egyptians used it (Golden Section - remark is ours) in the construction of their great pyramids. In that sentence the words "Golden Section" was ...
3
votes
3answers
500 views

Breaking comma rules to emphasize a pause in a character quote or elsewhere

My wife is writing a book, and just got a draft back from an editor. The editor noted extra commas in numerous sentences like this: He looked at her closely, but all she said was, "I am truly ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Punctuation with block-quotes

How do I properly place a comma after a big block-quote? Let's say I have a sentence like this: The author states: < a big quote goes here. >, therefore... Since my sentence continues after ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Do you capitalize a quoted word at the beginning of a sentence? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Should I change the structure of a sentence/add filler words to make sure that the sentence always starts with a capital letter? As a concrete example, imagine that I'm ...
3
votes
1answer
981 views

What does “We don't see things as they are – we see them as we are” mean?

Can someone please explain the meaning of the quotation "We don't see things as they are – we see them as we are."?
3
votes
1answer
4k views

How do you insert a complete sentence quote into the middle of a sentence before a comma?

First off, I do not believe this question is a duplicate of this one: What is the correct punctuation when quoting a question in the middle of a larger sentence? I want to know how to insert a ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Is there a difference between Quotes and Italics? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the best way to mention a word: italics, quotes, or single-quotes (apostrophes)? Would it make a difference whether I put a word in quotes or in italics? Is ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

Is there a term for an offset quote that is only quoting the body of the text?

A trend in many magazine-style articles is to take a quote from the body of the article and place it in its own blockquote or other special formatting, then place it somewhere irrelevant in the flow ...
3
votes
1answer
183 views

“He said, X” vs. “X, he said” vs. “X, said he”

I’ve long wondered how in reported speech, what sort of change in nuance is produced by switching around the normal order of the subject (that is, the speaker) and the “speech-related” verb (such as ...
3
votes
3answers
251 views

Quotation in sentence [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I punctuate around quotes? How does one punctuate a sentence that contains a quotation in the middle? For example, is it: 1) Those who say, "My system is ...
3
votes
1answer
49k views

When quoting a quotation, how do you handle the double quotes?

Assume there is original source text: This restaurant is amazing with "delicious lasagna" and great service. Make sure you go 6-7pm for the quietest times. I want to quote "delicious lasagna" ...
3
votes
0answers
4k views

How to punctuate a quote within a quote? [duplicate]

Duplicate of: What’s the difference between using single and double quotation marks/inverted commas? How are embedded quotations used? And: When should end punctuation go inside quotes? ...