Posted by: episystechpubs | January 23, 2013

Editor’s Corner: The Return of the Quotation Marks

Good afternoon all! It seems like forever since we shared a special candle-lit moment discussing punctuation or vocabulary. Rather than ease back into it, I’m ripping off the Band-Aid and continuing where we left off—with more quotation mark rules. These are the remaining rules from, with examples from yours truly.

Rule 4: Use single quotation marks for quotes within quotes. Note that the period goes inside all quote marks.

Bonnie said, "Joy told Alexander, ‘You can’t treat me that way.’” (KC – Yes, the single quotes go within the double quotes, which means you’re including the three quote marks after the period.)

Rule 5: Use quotation marks to set off a direct quotation only.

"Will you be coming to my bachelor party?" he asked.

He asked if you would be at his bachelor party.

“Are you allergic to hedgehogs?” Mary asked.

Mary wanted to know if you are allergic to hedgehogs.

Rule 6: Do not use quotation marks with quoted material that is more than three lines in length. (KC – There are different ways to handle this. Generally I indent longer quotations.)

Rule 7: When you are quoting something that has a spelling or grammar mistake or presents material in a confusing way, insert the term sic in italics and enclose it in brackets. Sic means, "This is the way the original material was."

Mickey Junior wrote, "My grandpa is my favorite pursun [sic] in the world."

And now for something completely different:

A man’s wife was in labor with their first child and suddenly she began to shout, “Shouldn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t, didn’t, can’t!” He asked the nurse what was wrong with her. The nurse said, “She’s having contractions.” – Garrison Keillor

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