194

“That seems like an odd way to use punctuation,” Tom said. “What harm would there be in using quotation marks at the end of every paragraph?” “Oh, that’s not all that complicated,” J.R. answered. “If you closed quotes at the end of every paragraph, then you would need to reidentify the speaker with every subsequent paragraph. “Say a narrative was ...


34

Although you can put treason and traitor in quotation marks or italics, the use of words like in the sentence to indicate that they are being referenced as words rather than syntactic entities means that you don't have to. The use of quotes or italics is more common, but it's not essential in this construction. Also, between quotation marks or italics, ...


31

The lack of closing quotation marks is a convenient clue for the reader that the quotation goes on beyond the end of the paragraph. The addition of quotation marks at the start of each paragraph within a multi-paragraph quotation ensures that a casual or forgetful reader is reminded that the paragraph he is reading is (part of) a quotation, which he might ...


28

In American literature and university courses, the method for introducing a quotation is the same as the British English style: the comma is placed after the last word that introduces the quotation. Martin said, “Who brought that dog?” As for the closing quotation mark, American English prefers the comma to be placed before the ending quotation mark. ...


24

Whoever said "The Chicago Manual of Style (6.8) says that When my friends ask, "What do you want for your birthday?," I never know how to respond. is the correct form." was most likely mistaken. To begin with, they are probably referring to the 15th edition, where section 6.8 addresses periods and commas inside quotation marks, rather than the current 16th ...


23

I can't speak to whether the New York Times is following a style guide that bids them to leave off the quotation marks. I would have written that paragraph with quotes. I can, however, answer your second question. The term you are looking for is the "use-mention distinction." From the above-linked Wikipedia article: The distinction between use and ...


17

When a quotation is more than one paragraph long, double quotes are placed at the beginning and end of quote and at the beginning of each paragraph. The unclosed quote serves as a reminder that you are still reading a quotation. A paragraph that begins with a double quote should also contain a closing double quote, or be followed by a paragraph that also ...


17

The rule is in place to allow for successive dialog. Two quoted paragraphs in succession with no end quotation mark in the first paragraph are a continued sentiment stated by one person that requires a paragraph break, whereas if there were an end quotation mark, the two paragraphs would be quotes said by different people. Its primary purpose is in ...


16

In his ‘Guide to Punctuation’, the late Professor Larry Trask described scare quotes thus: Scare quotes are quotation marks placed around a word or phrase from which you, the writer, wish to distance yourself because you consider that word or phrase to be odd or inappropriate for some reason. Possibly you regard it as too colloquial for formal ...


15

Your third example is correct. Quotes are composed of two parts; the speaker tag to identify the speaker, and the actual quote itself. For example: Einstein said "A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." Or for your example: Sally said "I went to the movies." But you can also paraphrase what they said and integrate it into the ...


15

The "rule" is to alternate quote marks. You can start with doubles or singles on the outside, following whatever style guide you prefer, but then alternate. I prefer to start with double-quotes, which means that the next set is single and then double after that, and so on. John exclaimed, “I was really annoyed when Julia said ‘Leave now if you want to see ...


14

Inches (like seconds of arc and seconds of time) are denoted by the double prime mark, not a quotation mark, although for ease of typing, it is common to see the straight quotation mark (the "dumb quote" found on most computer keyboards) used in its place. The most typographically correct presentation would be 4⅝ × 3¾″ and not ∅ 4⅝ × 3¾" but ...


13

The above mentioned rules are often broken in the context of computer programming. It does not always result from the fact that a poster doesn't know the rules, but it would just be misleading, eg. After that you need to issue "find . -name *.jpg {};." In the above example the last full stop is NOT a part of the command and, if typed as such, would lead ...


12

It may have something to do with the rather archaic practice of: - “Using a “quotation mark at the “beginning of every line “of the quoted text. This “practise was actually “pretty commonplace during “the Georgian and Victo- “ian Eras.” See, for example, this 1759 edition of The Monthly Review on Google Books. (cf. Wikipedia article)


11

Double quotes are closed at the end of the "speech act". As long as the same person is speaking, each new paragraph starts with an opening quotation mark, but the closing quotation mark doesn't happen until the person is finished speaking.


11

There are plenty of times that quotation marks can change the meaning of a short piece of text, however, I don't think that's the case here. It's quite likely that this was indeed the result of a miss-communication, but not the kind you're thinking of. If you were received a written message telling you to place the words "road work ahead" on the sign, it ...


11

The explanation for putting the period/full stop inside the quotation marks goes back to the early days of printing in Europe, back in the 1500s. Each character in a printed line of text - letter, number, punctuation mark - came from a separate piece of metal type. All the individual pieces of metal were lined up on a template for printing (like this). The ...


11

A backtick would be my last recommendation. A straight single-quote is acceptable, and a curly close quote can be substituted as an improvement. In other words, of these three: It`s common sense. . . . It's common sense. . . . It’s common sense. . . . I would avoid the first, accept the second, and consider the third to be superior to the other two. One ...


11

If you are quoting a chunk of French then it is no longer an English document: it is a mixed English and French document. For the French parts you should follow French rules, and for the English parts, English rules. You should no more change the French punctuation rules to correspond to English punctuation rules than you should change n’existe pas to ne ...


10

Some conventions call for the omission of a closing quotation mark if the dialog or quotation extends to another paragraph. For example, if I were quoting the Gettysburg Address, I might punctuate it like so: "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition ...


8

The only thing you have to "relearn" is that a full-stop at the end of reported speech becomes a comma when the sense runs on into the sentence which reports it. "I'm done," she said. That's one complete sentence reporting some speech. It doesn't matter if what is being reported has its own sentence structure: that's contained within the quotation. It's ...


7

User66974's answer citing The Oxford Guide to Style (a British publication) neatly summarizes the difference between predominant UK and US English punctuation styles regarding double and single quotation marks. Beyond that, various U.S. style guides offer similar analyses and some interesting sidelights on the predominant U.S. style. From The Chicago Manual ...


7

If you are supplying a direct quote, you quote the subject exactly. If you are paraphrasing, then you can change the pronouns to make things more consistent. An example of a direct quote: When asked what he did last night, Dave said "I was at the movies." Paraphrased, it would look like this: When I asked Dave what he did last night, he said he was ...


7

You're not missing anything. There has recently been an unfortunate trend to use quotation marks where they're not warranted or appropriate. You can see many more examples of this in at the blog tchrist linked in a comment. Quotation marks should not be used for emphasis or no reason at all, as in your example and most in the aforementioned blog.


7

In your example you are actually implying that he did say that. When you use "like" like this it's entirely possible for people to think the person actually said it, and it's entirely possible for them to think the person didn't. It's a minefield. You could use: "He looked like he was gonna say/he was about to say ..." Or you could just describe it ...


6

I find this entire discussion quite intriguing, to be honest. Assuming that most people will come here looking for guidance on a rather non-complex scale: The American convention for punctuation of quotations is that commas and full stops (aka the '.') always go inside the quotation. This is true. This is to assist with organization, but also to eliminate ...


6

Posted by one Dave Richards on Grammar Girl It is a fallacy to claim that standard British English uses single quotation marks first and doubles only for quotes embedded in quotes. This is indeed the case with novels, but all other publications use double quotation marks first and singles for nested quotations. As a Brit, I agree. I don't see a lot of ...


6

No, it wouldn't be more correct, and in fact I'd argue it would be wrong. The phrase "security man waiting for you to walk through the door so he can escort you" is a parenthetical, and pose is not part of it, but rather the head of the entire noun phrase "ISO-standard 'security man waiting for you to walk through the door so he can escort you' pose". For ...


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