1

"Whatever," says Peyton.

I understand the comma needs to be after "whatever" to indicate that is what Peyton is saying but..

Peyton says, "Whatever."

can a period go there because that's all she said or does a comma need to be there as well?

  • This depends on your style guide. There is no single correct answer for any punctuation questions. – curiousdannii Aug 22 '15 at 6:52
2

There needs to be a comma if there is a clause following it.

I'm a copy editor, and in AP style, dialogue looks something like this:

"I was excited to hear about Stack Overflow's 10 millionth question," Randall Flagg said. "I only wish I had started answering questions sooner."

If the attribution precedes the quote, than a period (or other punctuation) is just fine:

Fran snorted. "Who'd have guessed?"

Don't double up on question/exclamation marks and commas

"What?" Mom yelled

Not,

"What?," Mom yelled.

  • But Randall Flag has not finished the sentence in your example, so a comma is certainly appropriate. The question, though, relates to a one word statement which is completed, and which would finish with a period (full stop) were it not for the continuing "says Peyton". – Margana Aug 21 '15 at 21:54
  • I had conceived of them as two separate sentences, as they are independent of each other, but I can see how they would be confusing with the but in there. Edited for clarity. – Azor Ahai Aug 21 '15 at 21:58
  • Ok Press Tilty. Now you've edited your reply, it matches the question's sentence.In AP style cou;d you punctuate your original snetence as: ""I was excited to hear about Stack Overflow's 10 millionth question," said Randall Flagg, "but I only wish I had started answering questions sooner." ? – Margana Aug 21 '15 at 22:09
  • Well strictly speaking, you're supposed to place the attribution at the end of a sentence anyway, so a mid-sentence break doesn't usually happen. In opening a novel I have nearby, the sentence reads "I'm sure you do," the lawyer said, "but I believe I'll count Mr. Henreid's teeth before I leave." So, yes your suggestion would be correct. – Azor Ahai Aug 21 '15 at 22:17

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.