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In this sentence ...

Correct wool velour carpeting is used ("It didn't hold up as well as Porsche would've liked," says Jim, "and they discontinued it after a while") and the restored mahogany dash trim glows with ethereal warmth in direct sunlight.

... even though the parenthetical quote is a complete sentence, I believe it doesn't need a period after "a while" in this case. Am I right? Or should there be a period for the quote itself?

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Punctuation is a visual tool invented by us to aid understanding of the written word. Is the meaning of your sentence changed by the insertion of a period/comma/nothing?

Correct wool velour carpeting is used ("It didn't hold up as well as Porsche would've liked," says Jim, "and they discontinued it after a while.") and the restored mahogany dash trim glows with ethereal warmth in direct sunlight.

To my eye the period trips up the sentence in mid flow and doesn't add anything. We know Jim has finished speaking because the inverted commas close, therefore there's no need for any other punctuation.

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  • Thanks, Mynamite. I'd written it without a period, and an editor had put one in. It does kill the flow.
    – Doug Kott
    Apr 16, 2013 at 22:25
  • So how does the editor know you aren't quoting the part up to but not including the full stop? Apr 16, 2013 at 22:35
  • @TimLymington Sorry, I don't really understand your comment. Jim's sentence may have ended after 'while' or it may not. That's irrelevant for the purposes of the author's quote. Why would an editor need to know this?
    – Mynamite
    Apr 16, 2013 at 22:42
  • What Jim said presumably included a full stop. How much of his speech you quote is up to you (assuming you do not mislead), and no editor has the right to insert or remove the stop; that's all I meant. Apr 17, 2013 at 12:54
  • "The boy wrote 'He is here.' " and "The boy wrote 'He is here' " are obviously not necessarily identical in meaning. The first is unambiguous. Reproducing the written word accurately in a quote structure often leads to problems. Apr 16, 2015 at 10:11

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