1

The following is a quote from the book:

Jem became vaguely articulate: “‘d you see him, Scout? ’d you see him just standin‘ there?… ’n‘ all of a sudden he just relaxed all over, an’ it looked like that gun was a part of him… an‘ he did it so quick, like… I hafta aim for ten minutes ’fore I can hit somethin‘…”

What is the correct way to quote (put quotation marks around) the segment in bold?

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Most of those "quotes" should be apostrophes, for example ’n’ and an’ which lop letters off and. See the passage in Google Books, although they introduce further confusion by using single-quotes as well as apostrophes.

The double-quotes you use to set off the speech are correct. Everything else inside that quotation should be apostrophes to indicate letters which are missing in what is spoken.

Jem became vaguely articulate: “’d you see him, Scout? ’d you see him just standin’ there?… ’n’ all of a sudden he just relaxed all over, an’ it looked like that gun was a part of him… an’ he did it so quick, like… I hafta aim for ten minutes ’fore I can hit somethin’…”

Jem became vaguely articulate: “Did you see him, Scout? Did you see him just standing there?… And all of a sudden he just relaxed all over, and it looked like that gun was a part of him… and he did it so quick, like… I hafta aim for ten minutes afore I can hit something…”

In order to extract the bold sentence, simply move the closing quotes to the end of the part of the speech which you need:

Jem became vaguely articulate: “’d you see him, Scout?”

If you need to quote that sentence and you don't have the luxury of a blockquote mechanism, then you need to put the whole sentence in its own quote marks. In this case, one convention is to alternate double- and single-quotation marks, in order that the reported speech is identifiable. You can generally choose which gets the double quotes and which gets the single quotes:

‘Jem became vaguely articulate: “’d you see him, Scout?”’
“Jem became vaguely articulate: ‘’d you see him, Scout?’”

Here, I would prefer using double quotes for the reported speech, because of the apostrophe.

Another convention which might be used where it's available is to set off the quotation in italics. That removes the difficulty of adding quotation marks entirely.

Jem became vaguely articulate: “’d you see him, Scout?”

  • I'm not asking if the passage is correct, I'm asking how I would properly quote the bold part on a different paper. – Paul Parker Sep 24 '17 at 0:21
  • @PaulParker OK. Updated. – Andrew Leach Sep 24 '17 at 8:47

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