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Is there a term for when you layout a paragraph with a right-aligned citation on the last line, like this:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.
Phasellus quam mauris, tincidunt eget volutpat sit amet,
placerat vel justo.                             Citation

I ask because I've seen this in a book where space was at a premium. I'm working on a layout engine where I need to be able to do this, and I'd like to to be able to learn more about it if this is a thing.

  • Do you mean a layout engine for web design? – long Dec 1 '13 at 22:40
  • No, for an iOS app. – Hilton Campbell Dec 2 '13 at 1:38
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    I don't think there is a term for this specifically; I would just call it right-aligned attribution or something like that. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Dec 2 '13 at 10:57
  • In html, which derives heavily from typography standards, the citation would be called a blockquote footer or, more correctly, a blockquote cite element. – long Dec 2 '13 at 22:21
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I suspect that different publishers have different ways of describing the instruction you have in mind, which (if I understand it correctly) consists of two parts:

  1. Don't set the attribution/source credit on a separate line unless there isn't room to include all of it on the final line of the block quote.

  2. Align the attribution/source credit on the right-hand margin of the line where it appears.

The publisher I worked for many years ago in New York would have formulated the instruction something like this:

Run in the attribution, and set it flush right.

The "run in" part of the instruction indicates that the typesetter shouldn't put the attribution on its own line following the block quote. The "flush right" part of the instruction indicates that the typesetter should not follow regular character spacing ("justification") in placing the attribution after the last words of the block quote, but should instead set the attribution flush to the right margin.

Whether the typesetter is human or mechanical, you should also be able to specify that the attribution should not be broken across a line; so, for example, if the quotation is attributed to "Henry Wadsworth Longfellow," and a natural line break happens to occur immediately after "Wadsworth," the typesetter will know to move the entire name to the final line, flush right.

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signature or attribution

It is generally understood that in a quote the attribution will most often go here. So by common habit, maybe it's too simplistic or ambiguous for some, but I would call this a signature and leave it at that.

"Many hands make light work"
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Proverb

"I say these are all signatures or maybe attributions?"
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Shermy

Neither signature nor attribution explicitly say "right hand side", but either would be immediately obvious in context.

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I don't know that there's a specific answer to this question, but you might find it in a style manual, e.g. AP, APA, AACU, and others. You might also inquire with the Graphic Design folks, who are familiar with page layout questions.

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