Over at AC.SE we are having a discussion about the block quote markup which has lead me to realize I do not understand when things should be quoted. I think I have four questions. My first question is:

Is using a block quote here inappropriate?

My second question is

Is using a block quote here when there is no preceding colon inappropriate?

My third question is: "do I need quotes here"?

My final question is "do I need quotes when there is no colon"?

  • On the basis of advice rendered me and edits made to my own posts, it seems that the main use of block quotes here is to format and separate examples of word usage. I'd say either block quote is fine, as are both your other questions, but someone with more experience than me may disagree. – John Clifford Feb 2 '16 at 17:30

Generally, it is OK to use

the brown-colored text box

whenever it improves clarity or comprehension, including enclosing a block quote.

Anything written by someone else should be put in quotation marks, whether inside or outside of a brown-colored text box, such as this:

"'do I need quotes here'?"

There is no requirement for a preceding colon,

as sometimes a comma (or nothing) will do.

As a general guideline, a colon or semi-colon should follow a complete statement;

although, I'm sure there are those here

who will argue that this guideline is outdated and no longer universally applied.

"My final question is"

is not a complete statement and therefore does not require a colon. (I would put a comma after "is," however.) If

"'do I need quotes when there is no colon'?"

is a question or statement written by someone else, then yes, the text should be put inside quotation marks.

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