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Is a comma required after "quiet" in the following sentence, as if it were a direct quote? And if no, does "Yes" need to be capitalized?

Margaret curtseyed and spoke a quiet “Yes, ma’am.”

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The comma is not required, because the quoted phrase is not used as dialog but as the object of the speaking action.

For a detailed list of similar examples, see this blog.

I would keep the capitalization of "Yes," since that is the correct capitalization of the phrase Margaret uttered.

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