-1

Which looks correct? Am I on the right track?

  1. Perceptual defense is a concept that is somewhat similar to the truism of people only see what they want to see, especially in regard to diminishing or distorting the perception of stimuli that is offensive to the perceiver’s ego.

  2. Perceptual defense is a concept that is somewhat similar to the truism of "people only see what they want to see," especially in regard to diminishing or distorting the perception of stimuli that is offensive to the perceiver’s ego.

  3. Perceptual defense is a concept that is somewhat similar to the truism, "people only see what they want to see," especially in regard to diminishing or distorting the perception of stimuli that is offensive to the perceiver’s ego.

  4. Perceptual defense is a concept that is somewhat similar to the "people only see what they want to see" truism, especially in regard to diminishing or distorting the perception of stimuli that is offensive to the perceiver’s ego.

closed as off-topic by Hot Licks, NVZ, Helmar, Hellion, tchrist Sep 15 '16 at 16:49

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

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  • 1
    I would do it this way: "The concept of perceptual defense is somewhat similar to the truism that people see only what they want to see ..." – Sven Yargs Sep 15 '16 at 2:54
1

I think it is idiomatic to say "the truism that..." rather than "the truism of..." In fact, Google NGrams doesn't show any usages of "the truism of..." https://books.google.com/...

To align with the conventions of direct and indirect discourse, you should only use quotation marks when not using the word "that." Therefore, 2 is out.

To align with the conventions of nonessential and essential comma usage, you should only use commas if the describe the word, and not use commas if the quoted text is essential or limits the noun that it describes. Since you're not just describing a truism that happens to be also that quote, you're describing the specific truism that you are quoting, you cannot use commas. This means 3 is out.

I don't think 4 works, since it is a little confusing to put such a long quotation before "truism."

If I were to choose an answer, I would choose 1, except modifying the "of" to "that." In addition, I would tighten up the language a little to react to the extra addition of a "that."

Perceptual defense is a concept that is somewhat similar to the truism of people only see what they want to see, especially in regard to diminishing or distorting the perception of stimuli that is offensive to the perceiver’s ego.Blockquote

becomes

The concept of perceptual defense is somewhat similar to the truism that people only see what they want to see, especially in regard to diminishing or distorting the perception of stimuli that is offensive to the perceiver’s ego.

I would prefer the above. However, if you want to incorporate quotes, the following might still work:

Perceptual defense is a concept that is somewhat similar to the truism "people only see what they want to see," especially in regard to diminishing or distorting the perception of stimuli that is offensive to the perceiver’s ego.

To read up more on nonessential/essential clauses as well as quotation mark usage, http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/marks/quotation.htm and https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/607/05/.

  • So then what is the purpose of the quotation marks in your proposed version with them? – curious-proofreader Sep 15 '16 at 6:48
  • if it is a truism quoted from a source. – Hanry Hu Sep 16 '16 at 1:07

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