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107

“That seems like an odd way to use punctuation,” Tom said. “What harm would there be in using quotation marks at the end of every paragraph?” “Oh, that’s not all that complicated,” J.R. answered. “If you closed quotes at the end of every paragraph, then you would need to reidentify the speaker with every subsequent paragraph. “Say a narrative was ...


22

That's what I'd call hijacking the conversation: VERB [WITH OBJECT] 1.2 Take over (something) and use it for a different purpose: the organization had been hijacked by extremists MORE EXAMPLE SENTENCES The public power belongs to everyone and when majorities hijack it for sectarian purposes they act oppressively. Where ...


18

The lack of closing quotation marks is a convenient clue for the reader that the quotation goes on beyond the end of the paragraph. The addition of quotation marks at the start of each paragraph within a multi-paragraph quotation ensures that a casual or forgetful reader is reminded that the paragraph he is reading is (part of) a quotation, which he might ...


14

The rule is in place to allow for successive dialog. Two quoted paragraphs in succession with no end quotation mark in the first paragraph are a continued sentiment stated by one person that requires a paragraph break, whereas if there were an end quotation mark, the two paragraphs would be quotes said by different people. Its primary purpose is in ...


14

A corresponding conversation in English might go something like this: ― You should get yourself a girlfriend! ― A girlfriend? What’s that?! It’s more sarcasm than irony, and the reply is often “deadpanned”.


14

When you are quoting multiple paragraphs, closing quotations go only at the end of the entire quotation. Beginning quotes should be placed at the beginning of each paragraph, though; otherwise it would be hard to tell at a glance that the quotation was still ongoing. Common Errors by Brians (one of my new favorites) says it this way: When quoting a long ...


13

There is an idiom, stealing someone's thunder To use, appropriate, or preempt the use of another's idea, especially to one's own advantage and without consent by the originator. Similarly steal the spotlight to get attention for oneself. Ann always tries to steal the spotlight when she and I make a presentation [thefreedictionary.com] And steal ...


10

Another idiomatic option (at least in British English) would be: You should get yourself a girlfriend. Sorry, never heard of it. The use of the impersonal pronoun "it" is part of the humour; it indicates that the speaker not only has no girlfriend, but doesn't even understand the concept that a "girlfriend" might be a type of human being.


6

The first is known as 'direct speech', the second as 'reported speech'.


5

Neither. The right word here is "did": Haha. I'm glad you did! "I'm glad you have" would work if the first sentence were: "I have had ..."


5

OP's second version is standard usage, which is why @Barrie calls it the "uninverted form". But note he's only referring to inversion of subject - verb (the object here being the quoted speech). The most common structure for English sentences is subject - verb - object... Joe said "The sky is blue". ...and the most common "sentence inversion" is ...


4

If you want to turn the sarcasm back on the person giving obvious advice, you could say something like A girlfriend? I didn't get the memo. or A girlfriend? I must have missed a meeting! or A girlfriend? Gee, why didn't I think of that? Any of these implies that the advice is so obvious that the person giving it is either stupid or callous ...


4

Mostly they're not recorded. They're called Hesitation Markers, or various equivalent names. They are the various sounds people make when they're hesitating to think of what to say next, or to remember a word, or just because they've drawn a blank. Emitting one of these markers signals an intention to hold the floor, and to try to keep one's conversation ...


4

Both may be used after what is said, but only the uninverted form is normally used before what is said.


3

"Not unless the second part of the quote starts a new sentence," J.R. said. "In that case, you'd start with a capital letter. "However, if both halves are part of the same sentence," J.R. continued, "then the second half begins with a lower-case letter." See Rule 4 at the Purdue OWL: If a direct quotation is interrupted mid-sentence, do not capitalize ...


3

It may have something to do with the archaic practise of: - “Using a “quotation mark at the “beginning of every line “of the quoted text. This “practise was actually “pretty commonplace during “the Georgian and Victo- “ian Eras.” See, for example, this 1759 edition of The Monthly Review on Google Books. (cf. Wikipedia article)


3

It’s customary to use inversion only if the attribution follows the quote, not if it precedes it. So: John said, “I am going to the bank.” “I am going to the bank,” said John.


3

As I understand things, you place a comma after the interruption if the first quotation was not a complete sentence, and a period if it was. The rule really is as simple as you inferred. The stylistic element comes in where you have to decide how you would punctuate a quotation if it wasn't to be broken. By example: "My most worthy adversary, we meet ...


2

John told Sean to let him help him. I realise that creates ambiguity as to who was going to help who, but the context would probably sort it out.


2

Interlocutors: The persons who take part in a dialog.


2

We call this behavior shifting blame. This is the act of trying to deflect the blame onto others. Alternatively, (especially when romantic couples do this) it's called he said/she said. As you can see from the name, it represents that each side believes the other to be at fault for an argument/fight/etc so their stories are told from their own point of ...


2

Firstly, quoting the answer of @JohnLawler to lend context to the rest of my answer: Some indication of a gap in sequence is necessary, but " " is not a conventional sign of it. Three ... periods in a row between quotes " ... " is better. Some use two, but three seems somewhat more conventional. The Unicode "horizontal ellipsis" character … takes up only ...


2

The term "copy that" can be used in a few instances. Regarding its literal* sense, take the following example: Secretary: What should I do with this memorandum? Boss: Copy that. As a form of slang, it's a procedure word in radio communications to mean that you've successfully received a transmission. Taken colloquially, it's commonly interpreted ...


2

I'm not an English speaker, but using Portuguese logic I believe it could be called "abrupt rupture". When you start to explain something and your ideas are broken, it makes a rupture in the dialog, starting another one.


2

In American English, titles are generally not paired with first names, except for TV "experts" like Dr. Phil (who does not really hold a doctoral or medical degree) and cartoon characters, like Mr. Bill. Occasionally a teacher at the high school level (secondary school, pre-college) may tell his or her students to call them Mr. __ or Ms. ___ with the ...


2

Even TVTropes does not have a specific name for this, but rather sorts it under Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Closeness and familiarity aren't the only reason for [Finishing Each Other's Sentences]. Others include: [...] Last-Second Word Swap (especially when the audience was expecting it to rhyme): Alice: That sexy young farmer has an ...


2

Different publishers are likely to handle the punctuation differently. I doubt that you'll be able to please them all, whichever convention you adopt. At this point, I'll express my own preferences plus my reasons for those preferences. Where you wrote "We can't know for sure," he mused, leaning back in his chair, "Not until we ask more questions." ...


2

I think Erik's answer is good. I wouldn't myself want to write a capital letter in either position in your examples. I'd look for some way to start a new sentence or drop the interjected phrases ("he thought" in particular). It's not easy to see the wood for the trees when you're self-editing. Have you considered paying for an editor? A successful indie ...


2

My first thought was going off on a tangent. In conversation, a subject is tangential to the original/previous subject if the two are only partially related. The person who drives the conversation to focus on a tangential subject is commonly said to be "going off on a tangent", i.e. venturing/straying away from the original subject to pursue the tangential ...


2

If I were more pompous than I already am, I might introduce myself as Mr. Smith. Nobody has conferred the title of Mister upon me. It is a title that my culture applies to people of my, er, standing (or lack thereof). In professional circles, or where I wish to take advantage of entitlement, I might substitute Sir, Doctor, Professor, Councillor, Senator, ...



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