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The questions "Who?", "What?", "When?", "Where?", "How?", and "Why?" remain unanswered.

She was tired of his "Where were you?", "How many drinks did you have?", and " Were you unfaithful to me?" questions.

Please, no recasts.

Thank you.

marked as duplicate by tchrist, FumbleFingers, Chenmunka, Edwin Ashworth, ermanen Mar 9 '15 at 2:58

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  • @curiousdannii: I think you're absolutely right. I don't know why someone CVd for a different reason (I take it that wasn't you! :) – FumbleFingers Mar 8 '15 at 3:50
  • @FumbleFingers I don't have the rep to CV here – curiousdannii Mar 8 '15 at 3:51
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    You certainly shouldn't put the commas inside the quotes. And omitting the commas (except the Oxford one) is clearly untenable. So either you need to recast it or punctuate it the way you have. – Peter Shor Mar 8 '15 at 4:06
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    You could leave off the comma after the question mark/exclamation point in those, and I believe some style manuals recommend that you do so. See this Grammar Girl blog entry. – Peter Shor Mar 8 '15 at 4:56
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    I think you need to leave in the commas separating items in a list of quotes. The sentence looks horrible otherwise. And I haven't seen any style guides that actually address this case (as opposed to commas separating quotes from unquoted material, which they do address). – Peter Shor Mar 8 '15 at 5:06
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With expository prose, punctuation is a matter of convention and the preferences of the house style sheet; with literary prose, it's a matter of authorial/editorial preference.

I take the original question to be an example of the latter. There, one could dispense with the commas and italics could be used instead of quotation marks if one liked:

The questions Who? What? When? Where? How and Why? remained unanswered.

Where were you? How many drinks did you have? Were you unfaithful to me? She was tired of his questions.

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